British Library Cataloguing Data
The concise Oxford dictionary of current English.--8th ed.
1. English language--Dictionaries
I. Allen, R. E. (Robert Edward), 1944-423
ISBN 0-19-861243-5 thumb index
ISBN 0-19-861200-1 plain
gaberdine n. 1 var. of GABARDINE. 2 hist. a loose long upper garment
worn esp. by Jews and almsmen. [OF gauvardine perh. f. MHG
gabion n. a cylindrical wicker or metal basket for filling with earth
or stones, used in engineering or (formerly) in fortification.
ЬЬgabionage n. [F f. It. gabbione f. gabbia CAGE]
gable n. 1 a the triangular upper part of a wall at the end of a
ridged roof. b (in full gable-end) a gable-topped wall. 2 a
gable-shaped canopy over a window or door. ЬЬgabled adj. (also
in comb.). [ME gable f. ON gafl]
gad(1) v. & n. --v.intr. (gadded, gadding) (foll. by about, abroad,
around) go about idly or in search of pleasure. --n. idle
wandering or adventure (esp. in on the gad). [back-form. f.
obs. gadling companion f. OE g‘deling f. g‘d fellowship]
gad(2) int. (also by gad) an expression of surprise or emphatic
assertion. [= God]
gadabout n. a person who gads about; an idle pleasure-seeker.
Gadarene adj. involving or engaged in headlong or suicidal rush or
flight. [LL Gadarenus f. Gk Gadarenos of Gadara in anc.
Palestine, with ref. to Matthew 8:28-32]
gadfly n. (pl. -flies) 1 a cattle-biting fly, esp. a warble fly,
horsefly, or bot-fly. 2 an irritating or harassing person.
[obs. gad goad, spike f. ON gaddr, rel. to YARD(1)]
gadget n. any small and usu. ingenious mechanical device or tool.
ЬЬgadgeteer n. gadgetry n. gadgety adj. [19th-c. Naut.: orig.
gadoid n. & adj. --n. any marine fish of the cod family Gadidae,
including haddock and whiting. --adj. belonging to or
resembling the Gadidae. [mod.L gadus f. Gk gados cod + -OID]
n. a dark crystalline mineral consisting of ferrous silicate of
beryllium. [J. Gadolin, Finnish mineralogist d. 1852]
n. Chem. a soft silvery metallic element of the lanthanoid
series, occurring naturally in gadolinite. °Symb.: Gd. [mod.L
gadroon n. a decoration on silverware etc., consisting of convex curves
in a series forming an ornamental edge like inverted fluting.
[F godron: cf. goder pucker]
gadwall n. a brownish-grey freshwater duck, Anas strepera. [17th c.:
gadzooks int. archaic an expression of asseveration etc. [GAD(2) +
zooks of unkn. orig.]
Gael n. 1 a Scottish Celt. 2 a Gaelic-speaking Celt. ЬЬGaeldom n.
Gaelic n. & adj. --n. any of the Celtic languages spoken in Ireland,
Scotland, and the Isle of Man. --adj. of or relating to the
Celts or the Celtic languages.
Gaeltacht n. any of the regions in Ireland where the vernacular language
is Irish. [Ir.]
gaff(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a a stick with an iron hook for landing large
fish. b a barbed fishing-spear. 2 a spar to which the head of
a fore-and-aft sail is bent. --v.tr. seize (a fish) with a
gaff. [ME f. Prov. gaf hook]
gaff(2) n. Brit. sl. Ьblow the gaff let out a plot or secret. [19th
c., = nonsense: orig. unkn.]
gaffe n. a blunder; an indiscreet act or remark. [F]
gaffer n. 1 an old fellow; an elderly rustic. 2 Brit. colloq. a
foreman or boss. 3 colloq. the chief electrician in a film or
television production unit. [prob. contr. of GODFATHER]
gag n. & v. --n. 1 a piece of cloth etc. thrust into or held over
the mouth to prevent speaking or crying out, or to hold it open
in surgery. 2 a joke or comic scene in a play, film, etc., or
as part of a comedian's act. 3 an actor's interpolation in a
dramatic dialogue. 4 a thing or circumstance restricting free
speech. 5 a a joke or hoax. b a humorous action or situation.
6 an imposture or deception. 7 Parl. a closure or guillotine.
--v. (gagged, gagging) 1 tr. apply a gag to. 2 tr. silence;
deprive of free speech. 3 tr. apply a gag-bit to (a horse). 4
a intr. choke or retch. b tr. cause to do this. 5 intr.
Theatr. make gags. Ьgag-bit a specially powerful bit for
horse-breaking. gag man a deviser or performer of theatrical
gags. [ME, orig. as verb: orig. uncert.]
gage(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a pledge; a thing deposited as security. 2 a a
challenge to fight. b a symbol of this, esp. a glove thrown
down. --v.tr. archaic stake, pledge; offer as a guarantee.
[ME f. OF gage (n.), F gager (v.) ult. f. Gmc, rel. to WED]
gage(2) US var. of GAUGE.
gage(3) n. = GREENGAGE. [abbr.]
gaggle n. & v. --n. 1 a flock of geese. 2 colloq. a disorderly group
of people. --v.intr. (of geese) cackle. [ME, imit.: cf.
gagster n. = gag man.
gaiety n. (US gayety) 1 the state of being light-hearted or merry;
mirth. 2 merrymaking, amusement. 3 a bright appearance.
Ьgaiety of nations the cheerfulness or pleasure of numerous
people. [F gaiet‚ (as GAY)]
n. any composite plant of the genus Gaillardia, with showy
flowers. [mod.L f. Gaillard de Marentoneau, 18th-c. Fr.
gaily adv. 1 in a gay or light-hearted manner. 2 with a bright or
gain v. & n. --v. 1 tr. obtain or secure (usu. something desired or
favourable) (gain an advantage; gain recognition). 2 tr.
acquire (a sum) as profits or as a result of changed conditions;
earn. 3 tr. obtain as an increment or addition (gain momentum;
gain weight). 4 tr. a win (a victory). b reclaim (land from
the sea). 5 intr. (foll. by in) make a specified advance or
improvement (gained in stature). 6 intr. & tr. (of a clock
etc.) become fast, or be fast by (a specified amount of time).
7 intr. (often foll. by on, upon) come closer to a person or
thing pursued. 8 tr. a bring over to one's interest or views.
b (foll. by over) win by persuasion etc. 9 tr. reach or arrive
at (a desired place). --n. 1 something gained, achieved, etc.
2 an increase of possessions etc.; a profit, advance, or
improvement. 3 the acquisition of wealth. 4 (in pl.) sums of
money acquired by trade etc., emoluments, winnings. 5 an
increase in amount. 6 Electronics a the factor by which power
etc. is increased. b the logarithm of this. Ьgain ground see
GROUND(1). gain time improve one's chances by causing or
accepting delay. ЬЬgainable adj. gainer n. gainings n.pl.
[OF gaigner, gaaignier to till, acquire, ult. f. Gmc]
gainsay v.tr. (past and past part. gainsaid) archaic or literary deny,
contradict. ЬЬgainsayer n. [ME f. obs. gain- against f. ON
gegn straight f. Gmc + SAY]
'gainst prep. poet. = AGAINST. [abbr.]
gait n. 1 a manner of walking; one's bearing or carriage as one
walks. 2 the manner of forward motion of a runner, horse,
vehicle, etc. Ьgo one's (or one's own) gait pursue one's own
course. [var. of GATE(2)]
gaiter n. a covering of cloth, leather, etc. for the leg below the
knee, for the ankle, for part of a machine, etc. ЬЬgaitered
adj. [F gu€tre, prob. rel. to WRIST]
Gal. abbr. Galatians (New Testament).
gal(1) n. sl. a girl. [repr. var. pronunc.]
gal(2) n. Physics a unit of acceleration for a gravitational field,
equal to one centimetre per second per second. [Galileo: see
gal. abbr. gallon(s).
gala n. 1 a festive occasion. 2 Brit. a festive gathering for
sports, esp. swimming. [F or It. f. Sp. f. OF gale rejoicing f.
adj. & n. --adj. inducing a flow of milk. --n. a galactagogue
substance. [Gk gala galaktos milk, + agogos leading]
galactic adj. of or relating to a galaxy or galaxies, esp. the Galaxy.
[Gk galaktias, var. of galaxias: see GALAXY]
galago n. (pl. -os) any small tree-climbing primate of the genus
Galago, found in southern Africa, with large eyes and ears and a
long tail. Also called bush-baby. [mod.L]
galah n. Austral. 1 a small rose-breasted grey-backed cockatoo,
Cacatua roseicapilla. 2 sl. a fool or simpleton. [Aboriginal]
Galahad n. a person characterized by nobility, integrity, courtesy,
etc. [name of a knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend]
galantine n. white meat or fish boned, cooked, pressed, and served cold
in aspic etc. [ME f. OF, alt. f. galatine jellied meat f.
galaxy n. (pl. -ies) 1 any of many independent systems of stars, gas,
dust, etc., held together by gravitational attraction. 2 (the
Galaxy) the galaxy of which the solar system is a part. 3 (the
Galaxy) the irregular luminous band of stars indistinguishable
to the naked eye encircling the heavens, the Milky Way. 4
(foll. by of) a brilliant company or gathering. [ME f. OF
galaxie f. med.L galaxia, LL galaxias f. Gk f. gala galaktos
galbanum n. a bitter aromatic gum resin produced from kinds of ferula.
[ME f. L f. Gk khalbane, prob. of Semitic orig.]
gale(1) n. 1 a very strong wind, esp. (on the Beaufort scale) one of
32-54 m.p.h. 2 Naut. a storm. 3 an outburst, esp. of laughter.
[16th c.: orig. unkn.]
gale(2) n. (in full sweet-gale) bog myrtle. [OE gagel(le), MDu.
galea n. (pl. galeae or -as) Bot. & Zool. a structure like a helmet
in shape, form, or function. ЬЬgaleate adj. galeated adj. [L,
galena n. a bluish, grey or black mineral ore of lead sulphide.
°Chem. formula: PbS. [L, = lead ore (in a partly purified
galenic adj. & n. (also galenical) --adj. 1 of or relating to Galen, a
Greek physician of the 2nd c. AD, or his methods. 2 made of
natural as opposed to synthetic components. --n. a drug or
medicament produced directly from animal or vegetable tissues.
galenical var. of GALENIC.
adj. of or relating to Galileo, Italian astronomer d. 1642, or
adj. & n. --adj. 1 of Galilee in Palestine. 2 Christian.
--n. 1 a native of Galilee. 2 a Christian. 3 (prec. by the)
galingale n. 1 an aromatic rhizome of an E. Asian plant of the genus
Alpinia, formerly used in cookery and medicine. 2 (in full
English galingale) a sedge (Cyperus longus) having a root with
similar properties. [OE gallengar OF galingal f. Arab.
kalanjan f. Chin. ge-liang-jiang mild ginger from Ge in Canton]
galiot var. of GALLIOT.
galipot n. a hardened deposit of resin formed on the stem of the
cluster pine. [F: orig. unkn.]
gall(1) n. 1 sl. impudence. 2 asperity, rancour. 3 bitterness;
anything bitter (gall and wormwood). 4 the bile of animals. 5
the gall-bladder and its contents. Ьgall-bladder the vessel
storing bile after its secretion by the liver and before release
into the intestine. [ON, corresp. to OE gealla, f. Gmc]
gall(2) n. & v. --n. 1 a sore on the skin made by chafing. 2 a mental
soreness or vexation. b a cause of this. 3 a place rubbed
bare. --v.tr. 1 rub sore; injure by rubbing. 2 vex, annoy,
humiliate. ЬЬgallingly adv. [ME f. LG or Du. galle, corresp.
to OE gealla sore on a horse]
gall(3) n. 1 a growth produced by insects or fungus etc. on plants and
trees, esp. on oak. 2 (attrib.) of insects producing galls
(gall-fly). [ME f. OF galle f. L galla]
gall. abbr. gallon(s).
gallant adj., n., & v. --adj. 1 brave, chivalrous. 2 a (of a ship,
horse, etc.) grand, fine, stately. b archaic finely dressed. 3
a markedly attentive to women. b concerned with sexual love;
amatory. --n. 1 a ladies' man; a lover or paramour. 2 archaic
a man of fashion; a fine gentleman. --v. 1 tr. flirt with. 2
tr. escort; act as a cavalier to (a lady). 3 intr. a play the
gallant. b (foll. by with) flirt. ЬЬgallantly adv. [ME f. OF
galant part. of galer make merry]
gallantry n. (pl. -ies) 1 bravery; dashing courage. 2 courtliness;
devotion to women. 3 a polite act or speech. 4 the conduct of
a gallant; sexual intrigue; immorality. [F galanterie (as
galleon n. hist. 1 a ship of war (usu. Spanish). 2 a large Spanish
ship used in American trade. 3 a vessel shorter and higher than
a galley. [MDu. galjoen f. F galion f. galie galley, or f.
gallery n. (pl. -ies) 1 a room or building for showing works of art.
2 a balcony, esp. a platform projecting from the inner wall of a
church, hall, etc., providing extra room for spectators etc. or
reserved for musicians etc. (minstrels' gallery). 3 a the
highest balcony in a theatre. b its occupants. 4 a a covered
space for walking in, partly open at the side; a portico or
colonnade. b a long narrow passage in the thickness of a wall
or supported on corbels, open towards the interior of the
building. 5 a long narrow room, passage, or corridor. 6 Mil. &
Mining a horizontal underground passage. 7 a group of
spectators at a golf-match etc. Ьplay to the gallery seek to
win approval by appealing to popular taste. ЬЬgalleried adj.
[F galerie f. It. galleria f. med.L galeria]
n. a person occupying a seat in a gallery; a playgoer.
galley n. (pl. -eys) 1 hist. a a low flat single-decked vessel using
sails and oars, and usu. rowed by slaves or criminals. b an
ancient Greek or Roman warship with one or more banks of oars.
c a large open rowing-boat, e.g. that used by the captain of a
man-of-war. 2 a ship's or aircraft's kitchen. 3 Printing a an
oblong tray for set type. b the corresponding part of a
composing-machine. c (in full galley proof) a proof in the form
of long single-column strips from type in a galley, not in
sheets or pages. Ьgalley-slave 1 hist. a person condemned to
row in a galley. 2 a drudge. [ME f. OF galie f. med.L galea,
galliard n. hist. 1 a lively dance usu. in triple time for two persons.
2 the music for this. [ME f. OF gaillard valiant]
Gallic adj. 1 French or typically French. 2 of the Gauls; Gaulish.
ЬЬGallicize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise). [L Gallicus f. Gallus
n. Chem. an acid extracted from gallnuts etc., formerly used
in making ink. [F gallique f. galle GALL(3)]
gallice adv. in French. [L, = in Gaulish]
Gallicism n. a French idiom, esp. one adopted in another language. [F
gallicisme (as GALLIC)]
n.pl. hist. or joc. breeches, trousers. [orig. wide hose of
the 16th-17th c., f. obs. F garguesque for greguesque f. It.
grechesca fem. of grechesco Greek]
n. (pl. -ies) a heterogeneous mixture; a jumble or medley. [F
galimafr‚e, of unkn. orig.]
adj. of or relating to the order Galliformes, which includes
domestic poultry, pheasants, partridges, etc. [L gallinaceus f.
gallina hen f. gallus cock]
gallinule n. 1 a moorhen. 2 any of various similar birds of the genus
Porphyrula or Porphyrio. [mod.L gallinula, dimin. of L gallina
hen f. gallus cock]
galliot n. (also galiot) 1 a Dutch cargo-boat or fishing-vessel. 2 a
small (usu. Mediterranean) galley. [ME f. OF galiote f. It.
galeotta f. med.L galea galley]
gallipot n. a small pot of earthenware, metal, etc., used for ointments
etc. [prob. GALLEY + POT(1), because brought in galleys from
gallium n. Chem. a soft bluish-white metallic element occurring
naturally in zinc blende, bauxite, and kaolin. °Symb.: Ga.
[mod.L f. L Gallia France (so named patriotically by its
discoverer Lecoq de Boisbaudran d. 1912)]
galliwasp n. a W. Indian lizard, Diploglossus monotropis. [18th c.:
gallnut n. = GALL(3).
Gallo- comb. form 1 French; French and. 2 Gaul (Gallo-Roman). [L
Gallus a Gaul]
gallon n. 1 a (in full imperial gallon) Brit. a measure of capacity
equal to eight pints and equivalent to 4546 cc, used for liquids
and corn etc. b US a measure of capacity equivalent to 3785 cc,
used for liquids. 2 (usu. in pl.) colloq. a large amount.
ЬЬgallonage n. [ME f. ONF galon, OF jalon, f. base of med.L
galleta, galletum, perh. of Celtic orig.]
galloon n. a narrow close-woven braid of gold, silver, silk, cotton,
nylon, etc., for binding dresses etc. [F galon f. galonner
trim with braid, of unkn. orig.]
gallop n. & v. --n. 1 the fastest pace of a horse or other quadruped,
with all the feet off the ground together in each stride. 2 a
ride at this pace. 3 a track or ground for this. --v.
(galloped, galloping) 1 a intr. (of a horse etc. or its rider)
go at the pace of a gallop. b tr. make (a horse etc.) gallop.
2 intr. (foll. by through, over) read, recite, or talk at great
speed. 3 intr. move or progress rapidly (galloping inflation).
Ьat a gallop at the pace of a gallop. ЬЬgalloper n. [OF galop,
galoper: see WALLOP]
galloway n. 1 an animal of a breed of hornless black beef cattle from
Galloway in SW Scotland. 2 this breed.
gallows n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) 1 a structure, usu. of two
uprights and a crosspiece, for the hanging of criminals. 2
(prec. by the) execution by hanging. Ьgallows humour grim and
ironical humour. [ME f. ON g lgi]
gallstone n. a small hard mass forming in the gall-bladder.
n. an assessment of public opinion by questioning a
representative sample, esp. as the basis for forecasting the
results of voting. [G. H. Gallup, Amer. statistician d. 1984]
galluses n.pl. dial. & US trouser-braces. [pl. of gallus var. of GALLOWS]
galoot n. colloq. a person, esp. a strange or clumsy one. [19th-c.
Naut. sl.: orig. unkn.]
galop n. & v. --n. 1 a lively dance in duple time. 2 the music for
this. --v.intr. (galoped, galoping) perform this dance. [F:
galore adv. in abundance (placed after noun : flowers galore). [Ir. go
leўr to sufficiency]
galosh n. (also golosh) (usu. in pl.) a waterproof overshoe, usu. of
rubber. [ME f. OF galoche f. LL gallicula small Gallic shoe]
galumph v.intr. colloq. 1 move noisily or clumsily. 2 go prancing in
triumph. [coined by Lewis Carroll (in sense 2), perh. f. GALLOP
galvanic adj. 1 a sudden and remarkable (had a galvanic effect). b
stimulating; full of energy. 2 of or producing an electric
current by chemical action. ЬЬgalvanically adv.
galvanism n. hist. 1 electricity produced by chemical action. 2 the use
of electricity for medical purposes. ЬЬgalvanist n. [F
galvanisme f. L. Galvani, It. physiologist d. 1798]
galvanize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 (often foll. by into) rouse forcefully,
esp. by shock or excitement (was galvanized into action). 2
stimulate by or as if by electricity. 3 coat (iron) with zinc
(usu. without the use of electricity) as a protection against
rust. ЬЬgalvanization n. galvanizer n. [F galvaniser: see
n. an instrument for detecting and measuring small electric
currents. ЬЬgalvanometric adj.
gambade n. (also gambado) (pl. gambades; -os or -oes) 1 a horse's leap
or bound. 2 a fantastic movement. 3 an escapade. [F gambade &
Sp. gambado f. It. & Sp. gamba leg]
gambier n. an astringent extract of an Eastern plant used in tanning
etc. [Malay gambir name of the plant]
gambit n. 1 a chess opening in which a player sacrifices a piece or
pawn to secure an advantage. 2 an opening move in a discussion
etc. 3 a trick or device. [earlier gambett f. It. gambetto
tripping up f. gamba leg]
gamble v. & n. --v. 1 intr. play games of chance for money, esp. for
high stakes. 2 tr. a bet (a sum of money) in gambling. b
(often foll. by away) lose (assets) by gambling. 3 intr. take
great risks in the hope of substantial gain. 4 intr. (foll. by
on) act in the hope or expectation of (gambled on fine weather).
--n. 1 a risky undertaking or attempt. 2 a spell of gambling.
ЬЬgambler n. [obs. gamel to sport, gamene GAME(1)]
gamboge n. a gum resin produced by various E. Asian trees and used as a
yellow pigment and as a purgative. [mod.L gambaugium f.
Cambodia in SE Asia]
gambol v. & n. --v.intr. (gambolled, gambolling; US gamboled,
gamboling) skip or frolic playfully. --n. a playful frolic.
gambrel n. (in full gambrel roof) 1 Brit. a roof like a hipped roof but
with gable-like ends. 2 US = curb roof. [ONF gamberel f.
gambier forked stick f. gambe leg (from the resemblance to the
shape of a horse's hind leg)]
game(1) n., adj., & v. --n. 1 a form or spell of play or sport, esp. a
competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill,
strength, or luck. 2 a single portion of play forming a scoring
unit in some contests, e.g. bridge or tennis. 3 (in pl.) a
athletics or sports as organized in a school etc. b a meeting
for athletic etc. contests (Olympic Games). 4 a winning score
in a game; the state of the score in a game (the game is two
all). 5 the equipment for a game. 6 one's level of achievement
in a game, as specified (played a good game). 7 a a piece of
fun; a jest (was only playing a game with you). b (in pl.)
dodges, tricks (none of your games!). 8 a scheme or undertaking
etc. regarded as a game (so that's your game). 9 a policy or
line of action. 10 (collect.) a wild animals or birds hunted
for sport or food. b the flesh of these. 11 a hunted animal; a
quarry or object of pursuit or attack. 12 a kept flock of
swans. --adj. 1 spirited; eager and willing. 2 (foll. by for,
or to + infin.) having the spirit or energy; eagerly prepared.
--v.intr. play at games of chance for money; gamble. Ьthe game
is up the scheme is revealed or foiled. game plan esp. US 1 a
winning strategy worked out in advance for a particular match.
2 a plan of campaign, esp. in politics. game point Tennis etc.
a point which, if won, would win the game. game (or games)
theory the mathematical analysis of conflict in war, economics,
games of skill, etc. game-warden an official locally
supervising game and hunting. gaming-house a place frequented
for gambling; a casino. gaming-table a table used for gambling.
make game (or a game) of mock, taunt. off (or on) one's game
playing badly (or well). on the game Brit. sl. involved in
prostitution or thieving. play the game behave fairly or
according to the rules. ЬЬgamely adv. gameness n. gamester n.
gamebook n. a book for recording game killed by a sportsman.
gamecock n. (also gamefowl) a cock bred and trained for cock-fighting.
n. a person employed to breed and protect game.
gamelan n. 1 a type of orchestra found in SE Asia (esp. Indonesia),
with string and woodwind instruments, and a wide range of
percussion instruments. 2 a kind of xylophone used in this.
gamesman n. (pl. -men) an exponent of gamesmanship.
n. the art or practice of winning games or other contests by
gaining a psychological advantage over an opponent.
gamesome adj. merry, sportive. ЬЬgamesomely adv. gamesomeness n.
n. (pl. gametangia) Bot. an organ in which gametes are
formed. [as GAMETE + aggeion vessel]
gamete n. Biol. a mature germ cell able to unite with another in
sexual reproduction. ЬЬgametic adj. [mod.L gameta f. Gk gamete
wife f. gamos marriage]
gameto- comb. form Biol. gamete.
n. Biol. any cell that is in the process of developing into
one or more gametes.
n. Biol. the process by which cells undergo meiosis to form
n. the gamete-producing form of a plant that has alternation of
generations between this and the asexual form. ЬЬgametophytic
gamin n. 1 a street urchin. 2 an impudent child. [F]
gamine n. 1 a girl gamin. 2 a girl with mischievous or boyish charm.
gamma n. 1 the third letter of the Greek alphabet. 2 a third-class
mark given for a piece of work or in an examination. 3 Astron.
the third brightest star in a constellation. 4 the third member
of a series. Ьgamma radiation (or rays) electromagnetic
radiation of very short wavelength emitted by some radioactive
substances. [ME f. Gk]
gammer n. archaic an old woman, esp. as a rustic name. [prob. contr.
of GODMOTHER: cf. GAFFER]
gammon(1) n. & v. --n. 1 the bottom piece of a flitch of bacon including
a hind leg. 2 the ham of a pig cured like bacon. --v.tr. cure
(bacon). [ONF gambon f. gambe leg: cf. JAMB]
gammon(2) n. & v. --n. a kind of victory scoring two games at backgammon.
--v.tr. defeat in this way. [app. = ME gamen GAME(1)]
gammon(3) n. & v. colloq. --n. humbug, deception. --v. 1 intr. a talk
speciously. b pretend. 2 tr. hoax, deceive. [18th c.: orig.
gammy adj. (gammier, gammiest) Brit. sl. (esp. of a leg) lame;
permanently injured. [dial. form of GAME(2)]
gamp n. Brit. colloq. an umbrella, esp. a large unwieldy one.
[Mrs Gamp in Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit]
gamut n. 1 the whole series or range or scope of anything (the whole
gamut of crime). 2 Mus. a the whole series of notes used in
medieval or modern music. b a major diatonic scale. c a
people's or a period's recognized scale. d a voice's or
instrument's compass. 3 Mus. the lowest note in the medieval
sequence of hexachords, = modern G on the lowest line of the
bass staff. [med.L gamma ut f. GAMMA taken as the name for a
note one tone lower than A of the classical scale + ut the first
of six arbitrary names of notes forming the hexachord, being
syllables (ut, re, mi, fa, so, la) of the Latin hymn beginning
Ut queant laxis)]
gamy adj. (gamier, gamiest) 1 having the flavour or scent of game
kept till it is high. 2 US scandalous, sensational. 3 =
GAME(1) adj. ЬЬgamily adv. gaminess n.
gander n. & v. --n. 1 a male goose. 2 sl. a look, a glance (take a
gander). --v.intr. look or glance. [OE gandra, rel. to GANNET]
gang(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a a band of persons acting or going about
together, esp. for criminal purposes. b colloq. such a band
pursuing a purpose causing disapproval. 2 a set of workers,
slaves, or prisoners. 3 a set of tools arranged to work
simultaneously. --v.tr. arrange (tools etc.) to work in
coordination. Ьgang-bang sl. an occasion on which several men
successively have sexual intercourse with one woman. gang up
colloq. 1 (often foll. by with) act in concert. 2 (foll. by
on) combine against. [orig. = going, journey, f. ON gangr,
ganga GOING, corresp. to OE gang]
gang(2) v.intr. Sc. go. Ьgang agley (of a plan etc.) go wrong. [OE
gangan: cf. GANG(1)]
gangboard n. = GANGPLANK.
ganger n. Brit. the foreman of a gang of workers, esp. navvies.
gangle v.intr. move ungracefully. [back-form. f. GANGLING]
gangling adj. (of a person) loosely built; lanky. [frequent. of
ganglion n. (pl. ganglia or ganglions) 1 a an enlargement or knot on a
nerve etc. containing an assemblage of nerve-cells. b a mass of
grey matter in the central nervous system forming a
nerve-nucleus. 2 Med. a cyst, esp. on a tendon sheath. 3 a
centre of activity or interest. ЬЬgangliar adj. gangliform
adj. ganglionated adj. ganglionic adj. [Gk gagglion]
gangly adj. (ganglier, gangliest) = GANGLING.
gangplank n. a movable plank usu. with cleats nailed on it for boarding
or disembarking from a ship etc.
gangrene n. & v. --n. 1 Med. death and decomposition of a part of the
body tissue, usu. resulting from obstructed circulation. 2
moral corruption. --v.tr. & intr. affect or become affected
with gangrene. ЬЬgangrenous adj. [F gangrЉne f. L gangraena f.
gangster n. a member of a gang of violent criminals. ЬЬgangsterism n.
gangue n. valueless earth etc. in which ore is found. [F f. G Gang
lode = GANG(1)]
gangway n. & int. --n. 1 Brit. a passage, esp. between rows of seats.
2 a an opening in the bulwarks by which a ship is entered or
left. b a bridge laid from ship to shore. c a passage on a
ship, esp. a platform connecting the quarterdeck and forecastle.
3 a temporary bridge on a building site etc. --int. make way!
ganister n. a close-grained hard siliceous stone found in the coal
measures of northern England, and used for furnace-linings.
[19th c.: orig. unkn.]
ganja n. marijuana. [Hindi ganjha]
gannet n. 1 any sea bird of the genus Sula, esp. Sula bassana,
catching fish by plunge-diving. 2 sl. a greedy person.
ЬЬgannetry n. (pl. -ies). [OE ganot f. Gmc, rel. to GANDER]
ganoid adj. & n. --adj. 1 (of fish scales) enamelled; smooth and
bright. 2 having ganoid scales. --n. a fish having ganoid
scales. [F gano‹de f. Gk ganos brightness]
gantlet US var. of GAUNTLET(2).
gantry n. (pl. -ies) 1 an overhead structure with a platform
supporting a travelling crane, or railway or road signals. 2 a
structure supporting a space rocket prior to launching. 3 (also
gauntry) a wooden stand for barrels. [prob. f. gawn, dial.
form of GALLON + TREE]
gaol Brit. var. of JAIL .
gaoler Brit. var. of JAILER.
gap n. 1 an unfilled space or interval; a blank; a break in
continuity. 2 a breach in a hedge, fence, or wall. 3 a wide
(usu. undesirable) divergence in views, sympathies, development,
etc. (generation gap). 4 a gorge or pass. Ьfill (or close
etc.) a gap make up a deficiency. gap-toothed having gaps
between the teeth. ЬЬgapped adj. gappy adj. [ME f. ON, =
chasm, rel. to GAPE]
gape v. & n. --v.intr. 1 a open one's mouth wide, esp. in amazement
or wonder. b be or become wide open. 2 (foll. by at) gaze
curiously or wondrously. 3 split; part asunder. 4 yawn. --n.
1 an open-mouthed stare. 2 a yawn. 3 (in pl.; prec. by the) a
a disease of birds with gaping as a symptom, caused by
infestation with gapeworm. b joc. a fit of yawning. 4 a an
expanse of open mouth or beak. b the part of a beak that opens.
5 a rent or opening. ЬЬgapingly adv. [ME f. ON gapa]
gaper n. 1 any bivalve mollusc of the genus Mya, with the shell open
at one or both ends. 2 the comber fish, which gapes when dead.
3 a person who gapes.
gapeworm n. a nematode worm, Syngamus tracheae, that infests the trachea
and bronchi of birds and causes the gapes.
gar n. = GARFISH 2.
garage n. & v. --n. 1 a building or shed for the storage of a motor
vehicle or vehicles. 2 an establishment selling petrol etc., or
repairing and selling motor vehicles. --v.tr. put or keep (a
motor vehicle) in a garage. Ьgarage sale US a sale of
miscellaneous household goods, usu. for charity, held in the
garage of a private house. [F f. garer shelter]
garb n. & v. --n. 1 clothing, esp. of a distinctive kind. 2 the
way a person is dressed. --v.tr. 1 (usu. in passive or refl.)
put (esp. distinctive) clothes on (a person). 2 attire. [obs.
F garbe f. It. garbo f. Gmc, rel. to GEAR]
garbage n. 1 a refuse, filth. b domestic waste. 2 foul or rubbishy
literature etc. Ьgarbage can US a dustbin. [AF: orig. unkn.]
garble v.tr. 1 unintentionally distort or confuse (facts, messages,
etc.). 2 a mutilate in order to misrepresent. b make (usu.
unfair or malicious) selections from (facts, statements, etc.).
ЬЬgarbler n. [It. garbellare f. Arab. garbala sift, perh. f.
LL cribellare to sieve f. L cribrum sieve]
garboard n. (in full garboard strake) the first range of planks or plates
laid on a ship's bottom next to the keel. [Du. gaarboord,
perh. f. garen GATHER + boord BOARD]
gar‡on n. a waiter in a French restaurant, hotel, etc. [F, lit.
Garda n. 1 the State police force of the Irish Republic. 2 (also
garda) (pl. -dai) a member of this. [Ir. Garda SЎoch na Civic
garden n. & v. --n. 1 esp. Brit. a piece of ground, usu. partly
grassed and adjoining a private house, used for growing flowers,
fruit, or vegetables, and as a place of recreation. 2 (esp. in
pl.) ornamental grounds laid out for public enjoyment (botanical
gardens). 3 a similar place with the service of refreshments
(tea garden). 4 (attrib.) a (of plants) cultivated, not wild.
b for use in a garden (garden seat). 5 (usu. in pl. prec. by a
name) Brit. a street, square, etc. (Onslow Gardens). 6 an
especially fertile region. 7 US a large public hall. 8 (the
Garden) the philosophy or school of Epicurus. --v.intr.
cultivate or work in a garden. Ьgarden centre an establishment
where plants and garden equipment etc. are sold. garden city an
industrial or other town laid out systematically with spacious
surroundings, parks, etc. garden cress a cruciferous plant,
Lepidium sativum, used in salads. garden party a social event
held on a lawn or in a garden. garden suburb Brit. a suburb
laid out spaciously with open spaces, parks, etc. garden
warbler a European woodland songbird, Sylvia borin.
ЬЬgardenesque adj. gardening n. [ME f. ONF gardin (OF jardin)
ult. f. Gmc: cf. YARD(2)]
gardener n. a person who gardens or is employed to tend a garden.
Ьgardener-bird a bowerbird making a 'garden' of moss etc. in
front of a bower. [ME ult. f. OF jardinier (as GARDEN)]
gardenia n. any tree or shrub of the genus Gardenia, with large white or
yellow flowers and usu. a fragrant scent. [mod.L f. Dr A.
Garden, Sc. naturalist d. 1791]
garfish n. (pl. same) 1 any mainly marine fish of the family Belonidae,
esp. Belone belone, having long beaklike jaws with sharp teeth.
Also called NEEDLEFISH. 2 US any similar freshwater fish of the
genus Lepisosteus, with ganoid scales. Also called GAR or
GARPIKE. 3 NZ & Austral. either of two marine fish of the genus
Hemiramphus. Also called HALFBEAK. [app. f. OE gar spear + fisc
garganey n. (pl. -eys) a small duck, Anas querquedula, the drake of
which has a white stripe from the eye to the neck. [It., dial.
var. of garganello]
adj. enormous, gigantic. [the name of a giant in Rabelais'
book Gargantua (1534)]
garget n. 1 inflammation of a cow's or ewe's udder. 2 US pokeweed.
[perh. f. obs. garget throat f. OF gargate, -guete]
gargle v. & n. --v. 1 tr. (also absol.) wash (one's mouth and
throat), esp. for medicinal purposes, with a liquid kept in
motion by breathing through it. 2 intr. make a sound as when
doing this. --n. 1 a liquid used for gargling. 2 sl. an
alcoholic drink. [F gargouiller f. gargouille: see GARGOYLE]
gargoyle n. a grotesque carved human or animal face or figure projecting
from the gutter of (esp. a Gothic) building usu. as a spout to
carry water clear of a wall. [OF gargouille throat, gargoyle]
n. Med. = HURLER'S SYNDROME.
garibaldi n. (pl. garibaldis) 1 a kind of woman's or child's loose
blouse, orig. of bright red material imitating the shirts worn
by Garibaldi and his followers. 2 Brit. a biscuit containing a
layer of currants. 3 US a small red Californian fish, Hypsypops
rubicundus. [G. Garibaldi, It. patriot d. 1882]
garish adj. 1 obtrusively bright; showy. 2 gaudy; over-decorated.
ЬЬgarishly adv. garishness n. [16th-c. gaurish app. f. obs.
garland n. & v. --n. 1 a wreath of flowers, leaves, etc., worn on the
head or hung as a decoration. 2 a prize or distinction. 3 a
literary anthology or miscellany. --v.tr. 1 adorn with
garlands. 2 crown with a garland. [ME f. OF garlande, of unkn.
garlic n. 1 any of various alliaceous plants, esp. Allium sativum. 2
the strong-smelling pungent-tasting bulb of this plant, used as
a flavouring in cookery. ЬЬgarlicky adj. [OE garleac f. gar
spear + leac LEEK]
garment n. & v. --n. 1 a an article of dress. b (in pl.) clothes. 2
the outward and visible covering of anything. --v.tr. (usu. in
passive) rhet. attire. [ME f. OF garnement (as GARNISH)]
garner v. & n. --v.tr. 1 collect. 2 store, deposit. --n. literary
a storehouse or granary. [ME (orig. as noun) f. OF gernier f. L
garnet n. a vitreous silicate mineral, esp. a transparent deep-red
kind used as a gem. [ME f. OF grenat f. med.L granatum
POMEGRANATE, from its resemblance to the pulp of the fruit]
garnish v. & n. --v.tr. 1 decorate or embellish (esp. food). 2 Law a
serve notice on (a person) for the purpose of legally seizing
money belonging to a debtor or defendant. b summon (a person)
as a party to litigation started between others. --n. (also
garnishing) a decoration or embellishment, esp. to food.
ЬЬgarnishment n. (in sense 2). [ME f. OF garnir f. Gmc]
garnishee n. & v. Law --n. a person garnished. --v.tr. (garnishees,
garnisheed) 1 garnish (a person). 2 attach (money etc.) by way
garniture n. 1 decoration or trimmings, esp. of food. 2 accessories,
appurtenances. [F (as GARNISH)]
garotte var. of GARROTTE.
garpike n. a gar or garfish (see GARFISH 2). [OE gar spear + PIKE(1)]
garret n. 1 a top-floor or attic room, esp. a dismal one. 2 an attic.
[ME f. OF garite watch-tower f. Gmc]
garrison n. & v. --n. 1 the troops stationed in a fortress, town, etc.,
to defend it. 2 the building occupied by them. --v.tr. 1
provide (a place) with or occupy as a garrison. 2 place on
garrison duty. Ьgarrison town a town having a permanent
garrison. [ME f. OF garison f. garir defend, furnish f. Gmc]
garrotte v. & n. (also garotte; US garrote) --v.tr. 1 execute or kill
by strangulation, esp. with an iron or wire collar etc. 2
throttle in order to rob. --n. 1 a a Spanish method of
execution by garrotting. b the apparatus used for this. 2
highway robbery in which the victim is throttled. [F garrotter
or Sp. garrotear f. garrote a cudgel, of unkn. orig.]
garrulous adj. 1 talkative, esp. on trivial matters. 2 loquacious,
wordy. ЬЬgarrulity n. garrulously adv. garrulousness n. [L
garrulus f. garrire chatter]
garter n. & v. --n. 1 a band worn to keep a sock or stocking up. 2
(the Garter) Brit. a the highest order of English knighthood.
b the badge of this. c membership of this. 3 US a suspender
for a sock or stocking. --v.tr. fasten (a stocking) or encircle
(a leg) with a garter. Ьgarter-belt US a suspender belt.
Garter King of Arms see King of Arms. garter-snake any
water-snake of the genus Thamnophis, native to N. America,
having lengthwise stripes. garter stitch a plain knitting
stitch or pattern, forming ridges in alternate rows. [ME f. OF
gartier f. garet bend of the knee]
garth n. Brit. 1 an open space within cloisters. 2 archaic a a
close or yard. b a garden or paddock. [ME f. ON garthr = OE
gas n. & v. --n. (pl. gases) 1 any airlike substance which moves
freely to fill any space available, irrespective of its
quantity. 2 a such a substance (esp. found naturally or
extracted from coal) used as a domestic or industrial fuel (also
attrib. : gas cooker; gas fire). b an explosive mixture of
firedamp with air. 3 nitrous oxide or another gas used as an
anaesthetic (esp. in dentistry). 4 a gas or vapour used as a
poisonous agent to disable an enemy in warfare. 5 US colloq.
petrol, gasoline. 6 sl. pointless idle talk; boasting. 7 sl.
an enjoyable, attractive, or amusing thing or person. --v.
(gases, gassed, gassing) 1 tr. expose to gas, esp. to kill or
make unconscious. 2 intr. give off gas. 3 tr. (usu. foll. by
up) US colloq. fill (the tank of a motor vehicle) with petrol.
4 intr. colloq. talk idly or boastfully. Ьgas chamber an
airtight chamber that can be filled with poisonous gas to kill
people or animals. gas chromatography chromatography employing
gas as the eluent. gas-cooled (of a nuclear reactor etc.)
cooled by a current of gas. gas fire a domestic fire using gas
as its fuel. gas-fired using gas as the fuel. gas gangrene a
rapidly spreading gangrene of injured tissue infected by a soil
bacterium and accompanied by the evolution of gas. gas mask a
respirator used as a defence against poison gas. gas meter an
apparatus recording the amount of gas consumed. gas oil a type
of fuel oil distilled from petroleum and heavier than paraffin
oil. gas plant Bot. fraxinella. gas-proof impervious to gas.
gas ring a hollow ring perforated with gas jets, used esp. for
cooking. gas station US a filling-station. gas-tight proof
against the leakage of gas. gas turbine a turbine driven by a
flow of gas or by gas from combustion. [invented by J. B. van
Helmont, Belgian chemist d. 1644, after Gk khaos chaos]
gasbag n. 1 a container of gas, esp. for holding the gas for a balloon
or airship. 2 sl. an idle talker.
Gascon n. 1 a native of Gascony. 2 (gascon) a braggart. [F f. L
gaseous adj. of or like gas. ЬЬgaseousness n.
gash(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a long and deep slash, cut, or wound. 2 a a
cleft such as might be made by a slashing cut. b the act of
making such a cut. --v.tr. make a gash in; cut. [var. of ME
garse f. OF garcer scarify, perh. ult. f. Gk kharasso]
gasholder n. a large receptacle for storing gas; a gasometer.
gasify v.tr. & intr. (-ies, -ied) convert or be converted into gas.
gasket n. 1 a sheet or ring of rubber etc., shaped to seal the
junction of metal surfaces. 2 a small cord securing a furled
sail to a yard. Ьblow a gasket sl. lose one's temper. [perh.
f. F garcette thin rope (orig. little girl)]
gaskin n. the hinder part of a horse's thigh. [perh. erron. f.
gaslight n. 1 a jet of burning gas, usu. heating a mantle, to provide
light. 2 light emanating from this.
gasman n. (pl. -men) a man who instals or services gas appliances, or
reads gas meters.
gasolene var. of GASOLINE.
gasoline n. (also gasolene) 1 a volatile inflammable liquid distilled
from petroleum and used for heating and lighting. 2 US petrol.
[GAS + -OL(2) + -INE(4), -ENE]
gasometer n. a large tank in which gas is stored for distribution by
pipes to users. [F gazomЉtre f. gaz gas + -mЉtre -METER]
gasp v. & n. --v. 1 intr. catch one's breath with an open mouth as
in exhaustion or astonishment. 2 intr. (foll. by for) strain to
obtain by gasping (gasped for air). 3 tr. (often foll. by out)
utter with gasps. --n. a convulsive catching of breath. Ьat
one's last gasp 1 at the point of death. 2 exhausted. [ME f.
ON geispa: cf. geip idle talk]
gasper n. 1 a person who gasps. 2 Brit. sl. a cigarette.
gasser n. 1 colloq. an idle talker. 2 sl. a very attractive or
impressive person or thing.
gassy adj. (gassier, gassiest) 1 a of or like gas. b full of gas. 2
colloq. (of talk etc.) pointless, verbose. ЬЬgassiness n.
var. of GASTROPOD.
gasthaus n. a small inn or hotel in German-speaking countries. [G f.
Gast GUEST + Haus HOUSE]
n. (pl. -ies) a surgical operation in which the whole or part
of the stomach is removed. [GASTRO- + -ECTOMY]
gastric adj. of the stomach. Ьgastric flu a popular name for an
intestinal disorder of unknown cause. gastric juice a thin
clear virtually colourless acid fluid secreted by the stomach
glands and active in promoting digestion. [mod.L gastricus f.
Gk gaster gast(e)ros stomach]
gastritis n. inflammation of the lining of the stomach.
gastro- comb. form (also gastr- before a vowel) stomach. [Gk gaster
adj. of or relating to the stomach and intestines.
n. Med. inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
n. a gourmet. [F f. gastronomie GASTRONOMY]
n. the practice, study, or art of eating and drinking well.
ЬЬgastronomic adj. gastronomical adj. gastronomically adv. [F
gastronomie f. Gk gastronomia (as GASTRO-, -nomia f. nomos
gastropod n. (also gasteropod) any mollusc of the class Gastropoda that
moves along by means of a large muscular foot, e.g. a snail,
slug, etc. ЬЬgastropodous adj. [F gast‚ropode f. mod.L
gasteropoda (as GASTRO-, Gk pous podos foot)]
n. an optical instrument used for inspecting the interior of
gastrula n. (pl. gastrulae) Zool. an embryonic stage developing from
the blastula. [mod.L f. Gk gaster gast(e)ros belly]
gasworks n. a place where gas is manufactured and processed.
gat(1) n. sl. a revolver or other firearm. [abbr. of GATLING]
gat(2) archaic past of GET v.
gate(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a barrier, usu. hinged, used to close an
opening made for entrance and exit through a wall, fence, etc.
2 such an opening, esp. in the wall of a city, enclosure, or
large building. 3 a means of entrance or exit. 4 a numbered
place of access to aircraft at an airport. 5 a mountain pass.
6 an arrangement of slots into which the gear lever of a motor
vehicle moves to engage the required gear. 7 a device for
holding the frame of a cine film momentarily in position behind
the lens of a camera or projector. 8 a an electrical signal
that causes or controls the passage of other signals. b an
electrical circuit with an output which depends on the
combination of several inputs. 9 a device regulating the
passage of water in a lock etc. 10 a the number of people
entering by payment at the gates of a sports ground etc. b (in
full gate-money) the proceeds taken for admission. 11 sl. the
mouth. 12 US sl. dismissal. 13 = starting-gate. --v.tr. 1
Brit. confine to college or school entirely or after certain
hours. 2 (as gated adj.) (of a road) having a gate or gates to
control the movement of traffic or animals. [OE g‘t, geat, pl.
gatu, f. Gmc]
gate(2) n. (prec. or prefixed by a name) Brit. a street (Westgate).
[ME f. ON gata, f. Gmc]
gateau n. (pl. gateaus or gateaux) any of various rich cakes, usu.
containing cream or fruit. [F gѓteau cake]
n. an uninvited guest at a party etc. ЬЬgatecrash v.tr. &
gatefold n. a page in a book or magazine etc. that folds out to be
larger than the page-format.
gatehouse n. 1 a house standing by a gateway, esp. to a large house or
park. 2 hist. a room over a city gate, often used as a prison.
n. 1 an attendant at a gate, controlling entrance and exit. 2
any of several large brown species of butterfly, esp. Maniola
tithonus, frequenting hedgerows and woodland.
gateleg n. (in full gateleg table) a table with folding flaps supported
by legs swung open like a gate. ЬЬgatelegged adj.
gateman n. (pl. -men) = GATEKEEPER 1.
gatepost n. a post on which a gate is hung or against which it shuts.
Ьbetween you and me and the gatepost in strict confidence.
gateway n. 1 an entrance with or opening for a gate. 2 a frame or
structure built over a gate.
gather v. & n. --v. 1 tr. & intr. bring or come together; assemble,
accumulate. 2 tr. (usu. foll. by up) a bring together from
scattered places or sources. b take up together from the
ground, a surface, etc. c draw into a smaller compass. 3 tr.
acquire by gradually collecting; amass. 4 tr. a pick a
quantity of (flowers etc.). b collect (grain etc.) as a
harvest. 5 tr. (often foll. by that + clause) infer or
understand. 6 tr. be subjected to or affected by the
accumulation or increase of (unread books gathering dust; gather
speed; gather strength). 7 tr. (often foll. by up) summon up
(one's thoughts, energy, etc.) for a purpose. 8 tr. gain or
recover (one's breath). 9 tr. a draw (material, or one's brow)
together in folds or wrinkles. b pucker or draw together (part
of a dress) by running a thread through. 10 intr. come to a
head; develop a purulent swelling. --n. (in pl.) a part of a
garment that is gathered or drawn in. Ьgather way (of a ship)
begin to move. ЬЬgatherer n. [OE gaderian f. WG]
gathering n. 1 an assembly or meeting. 2 a purulent swelling. 3 a group
of leaves taken together in bookbinding.
Gatling n. (in full Gatling gun) a machine-gun with clustered barrels.
[R. J. Gatling, Amer. inventor d. 1903]
GATT abbr. (also Gatt) General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
gauche adj. 1 lacking ease or grace; socially awkward. 2 tactless.
ЬЬgauchely adv. gaucheness n. [F, = left-handed, awkward]
gaucherie n. 1 gauche manners. 2 a gauche action. [F]
gaucho n. (pl. -os) a cowboy from the S. American pampas. [Sp. f.
gaud n. 1 a gaudy thing; a showy ornament. 2 (in pl.) showy
ceremonies. [perh. through AF f. OF gaudir rejoice f. L
gaudy(1) adj. (gaudier, gaudiest) tastelessly or extravagantly bright or
showy. ЬЬgaudily adv. gaudiness n. [prob. f. GAUD + -Y(1)]
gaudy(2) n. (pl. -ies) Brit. an annual feast or entertainment, esp. a
college dinner for old members etc. [L gaudium joy or gaude
imper. of gaudere rejoice]
gauge n. & v. (US gage: see also sense 7) --n. 1 a standard measure
to which certain things must conform, esp.: a the measure of the
capacity or contents of a barrel. b the fineness of a textile.
c the diameter of a bullet. d the thickness of sheet metal. 2
any of various instruments for measuring or determining this, or
for measuring length, thickness, or other dimensions or
properties. 3 the distance between a pair of rails or the
wheels on one axle. 4 the capacity, extent, or scope of
something. 5 a means of estimating; a criterion or test. 6 a
graduated instrument measuring the force or quantity of
rainfall, stream, tide, wind, etc. 7 (usu. gage) Naut. a
relative position with respect to the wind. --v.tr. 1 measure
exactly (esp. objects of standard size). 2 determine the
capacity or content of. 3 estimate or form a judgement of (a
person, temperament, situation, etc.). 4 make uniform; bring to
a standard size or shape. Ьgauge pressure the amount by which a
pressure exceeds that of the atmosphere. take the gauge of
estimate. ЬЬgaugeable adj. gauger n. [ME f. ONF gauge,
gauger, of unkn. orig.]
Gaul n. a native or inhabitant of ancient Gaul. [Gaul the country
f. F Gaule f. Gmc]
gauleiter n. 1 an official governing a district under Nazi rule. 2 a
local or petty tyrant. [G f. Gau administrative district +
Gaulish adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to the ancient Gauls. --n.
Gaullism n. 1 the principles and policies of Charles de Gaulle, French
military and political leader (d. 1970), characterized by their
conservatism, nationalism, and advocacy of centralized
government. 2 adherence to these. ЬЬGaullist n. [F Gaullisme]
gault n. Geol. 1 a series of clay and marl beds between the upper
and lower greensand in S. England. 2 clay obtained from these
beds. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
gaunt adj. 1 lean, haggard. 2 grim or desolate in appearance.
ЬЬgauntly adv. gauntness n. [ME: orig. unkn.]
n. 1 a stout glove with a long loose wrist. 2 hist. an
armoured glove. 3 the part of a glove covering the wrist. 4 a
challenge (esp. in throw down the gauntlet). [ME f. OF gantelet
dimin. of gant glove f. Gmc]
n. (US gantlet) Ьrun the gauntlet 1 be subjected to harsh
criticism. 2 pass between two rows of people and receive blows
from them, as a punishment or ordeal. [earlier gantlope f. Sw.
gatlopp f. gata lane, lopp course, assim. to GAUNTLET(1)]
gauntry var. of GANTRY 3.
gaur n. a wild species of Indian cattle, Bos gaurus. [Hind.]
gauss n. (pl. same or gausses) a unit of magnetic induction, equal to
one ten-thousandth of a tesla. °Abbr.: G. [K. Gauss, Ger.
mathematician d. 1855]
n. Statistics = normal distribution. [as GAUSS]
gauze n. 1 a thin transparent fabric of silk, cotton, etc. 2 a fine
mesh of wire etc. 3 a slight haze. [F gaze f. Gaza in
gauzy adj. (gauzier, gauziest) 1 like gauze; thin and translucent. 2
flimsy, delicate. ЬЬgauzily adv. gauziness n.
gave past of GIVE.
gavel n. & v. --n. a small hammer used by an auctioneer, or for
calling a meeting to order. --v. (gavelled, gavelling; US
gaveled, gaveling) 1 intr. use a gavel. 2 tr. (often foll. by
down) end (a meeting) or dismiss (a speaker) by use of a gavel.
[19th c.: orig. unkn.]
gavial var. of GHARIAL.
gavotte n. 1 an old French dance in common time beginning on the third
beat of the bar. 2 the music for this, or a piece of music in
the rhythm of this as a movement in a suite. [F f. Prov.
gavoto f. Gavot native of a region in the Alps]
gawk v. & n. --v.intr. colloq. stare stupidly. --n. an awkward or
bashful person. ЬЬgawkish adj. [rel. to obs. gaw gaze f. ON
gawky adj. (gawkier, gawkiest) awkward or ungainly. ЬЬgawkily adv.
gawp v.intr. Brit. colloq. stare stupidly or obtrusively.
ЬЬgawper n. [earlier gaup, galp f. ME galpen yawn, rel. to
gay adj. & n. --adj. 1 light-hearted and carefree; mirthful. 2
characterized by cheerfulness or pleasure (a gay life). 3
brightly coloured; showy, brilliant (a gay scarf). 4 colloq. a
homosexual. b intended for or used by homosexuals (a gay bar).
°Generally informal in use, but favoured by homosexuals with
ref. to themselves. 5 colloq. dissolute, immoral. --n.
colloq. a homosexual, esp. male. ЬGay Liberation the advocacy
of homosexuals' freedom from social discrimination. ЬЬgayness
n. [ME f. OF gai, of unkn. orig.]
gayal n. a wild species of Indian cattle, Bos fontalis. [Hindi]
gayety US var. of GAIETY.
gazania n. any herbaceous plant of the genus Gazania, with showy yellow
or orange daisy-shaped flowers. [18th c.: f. Theodore of Gaza,
Greek scholar d. 1478]
gaze v. & n. --v.intr. (foll. by at, into, on, upon, etc.) look
fixedly. --n. a fixed or intent look. ЬЬgazer n. [ME: orig.
unkn.; cf. obs. gaw GAWK]
gazebo n. (pl. -os or -oes) a small building or structure such as a
summer-house or turret, designed to give a wide view. [perh.
joc. f. GAZE, in imitation of L futures in -ebo: cf. LAVABO]
gazelle n. any of various small graceful soft-eyed antelopes of Asia or
Africa, esp. of the genus Gazella. [F prob. f. Sp. gacela f.
gazette n. & v. --n. 1 a newspaper, esp. the official one of an
organization or institution (University Gazette). 2 hist. a
news-sheet; a periodical publication giving current events. 3
Brit. an official journal with a list of government
appointments, bankruptcies, and other public notices (London
Gazette). --v.tr. Brit. announce or publish in an official
gazette. [F f. It. gazzetta f. gazeta, a Venetian small coin]
gazetteer n. a geographical index or dictionary. [earlier = journalist,
for whom such an index was provided: f. F gazettier f. It.
gazzettiere (as GAZETTE)]
gazpacho n. (pl. -os) a Spanish soup made with oil, garlic, onions,
etc., and served cold. [Sp.]
gazump v.tr. (also absol.) Brit. colloq. 1 (of a seller) raise the
price of a property after having accepted an offer by (an
intending buyer). 2 swindle. ЬЬgazumper n. [20th c.: orig.
gazunder v.tr. (also absol.) Brit. colloq. (of a buyer) lower the
amount of an offer made to (the seller) for a property, esp.
just before exchange of contracts. [GAZUMP + UNDER]
gear n. & v. --n. 1 (often in pl.) a a set of toothed wheels that
work together to transmit and control motion from an engine,
esp. to the road wheels of a vehicle. b a mechanism for doing
this. 2 a particular function or state of adjustment of engaged
gears (low gear; second gear). 3 a mechanism of wheels, levers,
etc., usu. for a special purpose (winding-gear). 4 a particular
apparatus or mechanism, as specified (landing-gear). 5
equipment or tackle for a special purpose. 6 colloq. clothing,
esp. when modern or fashionable. 7 goods; household utensils.
8 rigging. 9 a harness for a draught animal. --v. 1 tr.
(foll. by to) adjust or adapt to suit a special purpose or need.
2 tr. (often foll. by up) equip with gears. 3 tr. (foll. by up)
make ready or prepared. 4 tr. put (machinery) in gear. 5 intr.
a be in gear. b (foll. by with) work smoothly with. Ьbe geared
(or all geared) up (often foll. by for, or to + infin.) colloq.
be ready or enthusiastic. first (or bottom) gear the lowest
gear in a series. gear down (or up) provide with a low (or
high) gear. gear lever (or shift) a lever used to engage or
change gear, esp. in a motor vehicle. high (or low) gear a gear
such that the driven end of a transmission revolves faster (or
slower) than the driving end. in gear with a gear engaged. out
of gear 1 with no gear engaged. 2 out of order. top gear the
highest gear in a series. [ME f. ON gervi f. Gmc]
gearbox n. 1 the casing that encloses a set of gears. 2 a set of gears
with its casing, esp. in a motor vehicle.
gearing n. 1 a set or arrangement of gears in a machine. 2 Brit.
Commerce a the allocation of part of a dividend to preferred
recipients. b the amount of this part.
gearwheel n. 1 a toothed wheel in a set of gears. 2 (in a bicycle) the
cog-wheel driven directly by the chain.
gecko n. (pl. -os or -oes) any of various house lizards found in
warm climates, with adhesive feet for climbing vertical
surfaces. [Malay chichak etc., imit. of its cry]
gee(1) int. (also gee whiz) US colloq. a mild expression of surprise,
discovery, etc. [perh. abbr. of JESUS]
gee(2) int. (often foll. by up) a command to a horse etc., esp. to go
faster. [17th c.: orig. unkn.]
gee(3) n. US sl. (usu. in pl.) a thousand dollars. [the letter G, as
initial of GRAND]
gee-gee n. Brit. colloq. a horse. [orig. a child's word, f. GEE(2)]
geek n. Austral. sl. a look. [E dial.]
geese pl. of GOOSE.
var. of G-STRING 2.
geezer n. sl. a person, esp. an old man. [dial. pronunc. of guiser
Gehenna n. 1 (in the New Testament) hell. 2 a place of burning,
torment, or misery. [eccl.L f. Gk f. Heb. g€' hinnom hell,
orig. the valley of Hinnom near Jerusalem, where children were
n. a device for measuring radioactivity by detecting and
counting ionizing particles. [H. Geiger, Ger. physicist d.
geisha n. (pl. same or geishas) 1 a Japanese hostess trained in
entertaining men with dance and song. 2 a Japanese prostitute.
n. a sealed tube of glass or quartz with a central
constriction, filled with vapour for the production of a
luminous electrical discharge. [H. Geissler, Ger. mechanic d.
gel n. & v. --n. a semi-solid colloidal suspension or jelly, of a
solid dispersed in a liquid. --v.intr. (gelled, gelling) form
a gel. ЬЬgelation n. [abbr. of GELATIN]
gelatin n. (also gelatine) a virtually colourless tasteless transparent
water-soluble protein derived from collagen and used in food
preparation, photography, etc. Ьgelatin paper a paper coated
with sensitized gelatin for photography. ЬЬgelatinize v.tr. &
intr. (also -ise). gelatinization n. [F g‚latine f. It.
gelatina f. gelata JELLY]
adj. 1 of or like gelatin. 2 of a jelly-like consistency.
gelation n. solidification by freezing. [L gelatio f. gelare freeze]
geld v.tr. 1 deprive (usu. a male animal) of the ability to
reproduce. 2 castrate or spay; excise the testicles or ovaries
of. [ME f. ON gelda f. geldr barren f. Gmc]
gelding n. a gelded animal, esp. a male horse. [ME f. ON geldingr: see
gelignite n. an explosive made from nitroglycerine, cellulose nitrate,
sodium nitrate, and wood pulp. [GELATIN + L ignis fire +
gelly n. Brit. sl. gelignite. [abbr.]
gem n. & v. --n. 1 a precious stone, esp. when cut and polished or
engraved. 2 an object or person of great beauty or worth.
--v.tr. (gemmed, gemming) adorn with or as with gems.
ЬЬgemlike adj. gemmy adj. [ME f. OF gemme f. L gemma bud,
Gemara n. a rabbinical commentary on the Mishnah, forming the second
part of the Talmud. [Aram. gemarѓ completion]
geminal adj. Chem. (of molecules) having two functional groups
attached to the same atom. ЬЬgeminally adv. [as GEMINATE +
geminate adj. & v. --adj. combined in pairs. --v.tr. 1 double,
repeat. 2 arrange in pairs. ЬЬgemination n. [L geminatus past
part. of geminare f. geminus twin]
Gemini n. 1 a constellation, traditionally regarded as contained in
the figures of twins. 2 a the third sign of the zodiac (the
Twins). b a person born when the sun is in this sign.
ЬЬGeminean n. & adj. [ME f. L, = twins]
gemma n. (pl. gemmae) a small cellular body in cryptogams that
separates from the mother-plant and starts a new one; an asexual
spore. [L: see GEM]
gemmation n. reproduction by gemmae. [F f. gemmer to bud, gemme bud]
adj. of or propagating by gemmation. [mod.L gemmiparus f. L
gemma bud + parere bring forth]
gemmology n. the study of gems. ЬЬgemmologist n. [L gemma gem + -LOGY]
gemmule n. an encysted embryonic cell-cluster in sponges. [F gemmule
or L gemmula little bud (as GEM)]
gemstone n. a precious stone used as a gem.
gemЃtlich adj. 1 pleasant and comfortable. 2 genial, agreeable. [G]
Gen. abbr. 1 General. 2 Genesis (Old Testament).
gen n. & v. Brit. sl. --n. information. --v.tr. & intr.
(genned, genning) (foll. by up) provide with or obtain
information. [perh. f. first syll. of general information]
-gen comb. form 1 Chem. that which produces (hydrogen; antigen). 2
Bot. growth (endogen; exogen; acrogen). [F -gЉne f. Gk -genes
-born, of a specified kind f. gen- root of gignomai be born,
gendarme n. 1 a soldier, mounted or on foot, employed in police duties
esp. in France. 2 a rock-tower on a mountain, occupying and
blocking an ar€te. [F f. gens d'armes men of arms]
n. 1 a force of gendarmes. 2 the headquarters of such a force.
gender n. 1 a the grammatical classification of nouns and related
words, roughly corresponding to the two sexes and sexlessness.
b each of the classes of nouns (see MASCULINE, FEMININE, NEUTER,
COMMON adj. 6). 2 (of nouns and related words) the property of
belonging to such a class. 3 colloq. a person's sex. [ME f. OF
gendre ult. f. L GENUS]
gene n. a unit of heredity composed of DNA or RNA and forming part
of a chromosome etc., that determines a particular
characteristic of an individual. [G Gen: see -GEN]
adj. 1 of or concerning genealogy. 2 tracing family descent.
Ьgenealogical tree a chart like an inverted branching tree
showing the descent of a family or of an animal species.
ЬЬgenealogically adv. [F g‚n‚alogique f. Gk genealogikos (as
genealogy n. (pl. -ies) 1 a a line of descent traced continuously from
an ancestor. b an account or exposition of this. 2 the study
and investigation of lines of descent. 3 a plant's or animal's
line of development from earlier forms. ЬЬgenealogist n.
genealogize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise). [ME f. OF genealogie f.
LL genealogia f. Gk genealogia f. genea race]
genera pl. of GENUS.
general adj. & n. --adj. 1 a completely or almost universal. b
including or affecting all or nearly all parts or cases of
things. 2 prevalent, widespread, usual. 3 not partial,
particular, local, or sectional. 4 not limited in application;
relating to whole classes or all cases. 5 including points
common to the individuals of a class and neglecting the
differences (a general term). 6 not restricted or specialized
(general knowledge). 7 a roughly corresponding or adequate. b
sufficient for practical purposes. 8 not detailed (a general
resemblance; a general idea). 9 vague, indefinite (spoke only
in general terms). 10 chief or principal; having overall
authority (general manager; Secretary-General). --n. 1 a an
army officer ranking next below Field Marshal or above
lieutenant-general. b US = lieutenant-general, major-general.
2 a commander of an army. 3 a tactician or strategist of
specified merit (a great general). 4 the head of a religious
order, e.g. of the Jesuits or Dominicans or the Salvation Army.
5 (prec. by the) archaic the public. Ьas a general rule in most
cases. General American a form of US speech not markedly
dialectal or regional. General Certificate of Education 1 an
examination set esp. for secondary-school pupils at advanced
level in England and Wales. 2 the certificate gained by passing
it. General Certificate of Secondary Education an examination
replacing and combining the GCE ordinary level and CSE
examinations. general delivery US the delivery of letters to
callers at a post office. general election the election of
representatives to a legislature (esp. in the UK to the House of
Commons) from constituencies throughout the country. general
headquarters the headquarters of a military commander. general
meeting a meeting open to all the members of a society etc.
general of the army (or air force) US the officer of the highest
rank in the army or air force. general practice the work of a
general practitioner. general practitioner a doctor working in
the community and treating cases of all kinds in the first
instance, as distinct from a consultant or specialist. general
staff the staff assisting a military commander in planning and
administration. general strike a strike of workers in all or
most trades. General Synod the highest governing body in the
Church of England. in general 1 as a normal rule; usually. 2
for the most part. ЬЬgeneralness n. [ME f. OF f. L generalis
n. (pl. -os) the commander of a combined military force
consisting of army, navy, and air-force units. [It., superl. of
n. a person competent in several different fields or activities
n. (pl. -ies) 1 a statement or principle etc. having general
validity or force. 2 applicability to a whole class of
instances. 3 vagueness; lack of detail. 4 the state of being
general. 5 (foll. by of) the main body or majority. [F
g‚n‚ralit‚ f. LL generalitas -tatis (as GENERAL)]
n. (also -isation) 1 a general notion or proposition obtained
by inference from (esp. limited or inadequate) particular cases.
2 the act or an instance of generalizing. [F g‚n‚ralisation (as
v. (also -ise) 1 intr. a speak in general or indefinite terms.
b form general principles or notions. 2 tr. reduce to a general
statement, principle, or notion. 3 tr. a give a general
character to. b call by a general name. 4 tr. infer (a law or
conclusion) by induction. 5 tr. Math. & Philos. express in a
general form; extend the application of. 6 tr. (in painting)
render only the typical characteristics of. 7 tr. bring into
general use. ЬЬgeneralizable adj. generalizability n.
generalizer n. [F g‚n‚raliser (as GENERAL)]
generally adv. 1 usually; in most cases. 2 in a general sense; without
regard to particulars or exceptions (generally speaking). 3 for
the most part; extensively (not generally known). 4 in most
respects (they were generally well-behaved).
n. 1 the art or practice of exercising military command. 2
military skill; strategy. 3 skilful management; tact,
generate v.tr. 1 bring into existence; produce, evolve. 2 produce
(electricity). 3 Math. (of a point or line or surface conceived
as moving) make (a line or surface or solid). 4 Math. &
Linguistics produce (a set or sequence of items) by the
formulation and application of precise criteria. ЬЬgenerable
adj. [L generare beget (as GENUS)]
n. 1 all the people born at a particular time, regarded
collectively (my generation; the rising generation). 2 a single
step in descent or pedigree (have known them for three
generations). 3 a stage in (esp. technological) development
(fourth-generation computers). 4 the average time in which
children are ready to take the place of their parents (usu.
reckoned at about 30 years). 5 production by natural or
artificial process, esp. the production of electricity or heat.
6 a procreation; the propagation of species. b the act of
begetting or being begotten. Ьgeneration gap differences of
outlook or opinion between those of different generations.
ЬЬgenerational adj. [ME f. OF f. L generatio -onis (as
adj. 1 of or concerning procreation. 2 able to produce,
productive. Ьgenerative grammar a set of rules whereby
permissible sentences may be generated from the elements of a
language. [ME f. OF generatif or LL generativus (as GENERATE)]
generator n. 1 a machine for converting mechanical into electrical
energy; a dynamo. 2 an apparatus for producing gas, steam, etc.
3 a person who generates an idea etc.; an originator.
generic adj. 1 characteristic of or relating to a class; general, not
specific or special. 2 Biol. characteristic of or belonging to
a genus. 3 (of goods, esp. a drug) having no brand name; not
protected by a registered trade mark. ЬЬgenerically adv. [F
g‚n‚rique f. L GENUS]
generous adj. 1 giving or given freely. 2 magnanimous, noble-minded,
unprejudiced. 3 a ample, abundant, copious (a generous
portion). b (of wine) rich and full. ЬЬgenerosity n.
generously adv. generousness n. [OF genereus f. L generosus
noble, magnanimous (as GENUS)]
genesis n. 1 the origin, or mode of formation or generation, of a
thing. 2 (Genesis) the first book of the Old Testament, with an
account of the creation of the world. [L f. Gk f. gen- be
produced, root of gignomai become]
genet n. (also genette) 1 any catlike mammal of the genus Genetta,
native to Africa and S. Europe, with spotted fur and a long
ringed bushy tail. 2 the fur of the genet. [ME f. OF genete f.
genetic adj. 1 of genetics or genes; inherited. 2 of, in, or
concerning origin; causal. Ьgenetic code Biochem. the means by
which genetic information is stored as sequences of nucleotide
bases in the chromosomal DNA. genetic engineering the
deliberate modification of the characters of an organism by the
manipulation of DNA and the transformation of certain genes.
genetic fingerprinting (or profiling) the analysis of
characteristic patterns in DNA as a means of identifying
individuals. ЬЬgenetically adv. [GENESIS after antithetic]
genetics n.pl. (treated as sing.) the study of heredity and the
variation of inherited characteristics. ЬЬgeneticist n.
genette var. of GENET.
geneva n. Hollands gin. [Du. genever f. OF genevre f. L juniperus,
with assim. to the place name Geneva]
n.pl. two white cloth strips attached to the collar of some
Protestants' clerical dress. [Geneva in Switzerland, where
orig. worn by Calvinists]
n. an international agreement first made at Geneva in 1864 and
later revised, governing the status and treatment of captured
and wounded military personnel in wartime.
genial(1) adj. 1 jovial, sociable, kindly, cheerful. 2 (of the climate)
mild and warm; conducive to growth. 3 cheering, enlivening.
ЬЬgeniality n. genially adv. [L genialis (as GENIUS)]
genial(2) adj. Anat. of or relating to the chin. [Gk geneion chin f.
genic adj. of or relating to genes.
-genic comb. form forming adjectives meaning: 1 producing
(carcinogenic; pathogenic). 2 well suited to (photogenic;
radiogenic). 3 produced by (iatrogenic). ЬЬ-genically suffix
forming adverbs. [-GEN + -IC]
genie n. (pl. usu. genii) a jinnee, goblin, or familiar spirit of
Arabian folklore. [F g‚nie f. L GENIUS: cf. JINNEE]
genii pl. of GENIE, GENIUS.
genista n. any almost leafless shrub of the genus Genista, with a
profusion of yellow pea-shaped flowers, e.g. dyer's broom. [L]
genital adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to animal reproduction. --n.
(in pl.) the external reproductive organs. [OF g‚nital or L
genitalis f. gignere genit- beget]
genitalia n.pl. the genitals. [L, neut. pl. of genitalis: see GENITAL]
genitive n. & adj. Gram. --n. the case of nouns and pronouns (and words
in grammatical agreement with them) corresponding to of, from,
and other prepositions and indicating possession or close
association. --adj. of or in the genitive. ЬЬgenitival adj.
genitivally adv. [ME f. OF genetif, -ive or L genitivus f.
gignere genit- beget]
genito- comb. form genital.
adj. of the genital and urinary organs.
genius n. (pl. geniuses or genii) 1 (pl. geniuses) a an exceptional
intellectual or creative power or other natural ability or
tendency. b a person having this. 2 the tutelary spirit of a
person, place, institution, etc. 3 a person or spirit regarded
as powerfully influencing a person for good or evil. 4 the
prevalent feeling or associations etc. of a nation, age, etc.
[L (in sense 2) f. the root of gignere beget]
genizah n. a room attached to a synagogue and housing damaged,
discarded, or heretical books etc., and sacred relics. [Heb.
genizah, lit. hiding-place f. ganaz hide, set aside]
n. a rich fruit cake with almonds on top. [Genoa in Italy]
Genoa jib n. a large jib or foresail used esp. on yachts.
genocide n. the deliberate extermination of a people or nation.
ЬЬgenocidal adj. [Gk genos race + -CIDE]
genome n. 1 the haploid set of chromosomes of an organism. 2 the
genetic material of an organism. [GENE + CHROMOSOME]
genotype n. Biol. the genetic constitution of an individual.
ЬЬgenotypic adj. [G Genotypus (as GENE, TYPE)]
-genous comb. form forming adjectives meaning 'produced' (endogenous).
genre n. 1 a kind or style, esp. of art or literature (e.g. novel,
drama, satire). 2 (in full genre painting) the painting of
scenes from ordinary life. [F, = a kind (as GENDER)]
gens n. (pl. gentes) 1 Rom.Hist. a group of families sharing a name
and claiming a common origin. 2 Anthropol. a number of people
sharing descent through the male line. [L, f. the root of
gent n. colloq. (often joc.) 1 a gentleman. 2 (in pl.) (in shop
titles) men (gents' outfitters). 3 (the Gents) Brit. colloq. a
men's public lavatory. [abbr. of GENTLEMAN]
genteel adj. 1 affectedly or ostentatiously refined or stylish. 2
often iron. of or appropriate to the upper classes. ЬЬgenteelly
adv. genteelness n. [earlier gentile, readoption of F gentil
n. a word used because it is thought to be less vulgar than the
commoner word (e.g. perspire for sweat).
gentes pl. of GENS.
gentian n. 1 any plant of the genus Gentiana or Gentianella, found esp.
in mountainous regions, and having usu. vivid blue flowers. 2
(in full gentian bitter) a liquor extracted from the root of the
gentian. Ьgentian violet a violet dye used as an antiseptic,
esp. in the treatment of burns. [OE f. L gentiana f. Gentius
king of Illyria]
gentile adj. & n. --adj. 1 (Gentile) not Jewish; heathen. 2 of or
relating to a nation or tribe. 3 Gram. (of a word) indicating
nationality. --n. 1 (Gentile) a person who is not Jewish. 2
Gram. a word indicating nationality. [ME f. L gentilis f. gens
gentis family: see GENS]
gentility n. 1 social superiority. 2 good manners; habits associated
with the nobility. 3 people of noble birth. [ME f. OF
gentilit‚ (as GENTLE)]
gentle adj., v., & n. --adj. (gentler, gentlest) 1 not rough; mild or
kind, esp. in temperament. 2 moderate; not severe or drastic (a
gentle rebuke; a gentle breeze). 3 (of birth, pursuits, etc.)
honourable, of or fit for people of good social position. 4
quiet; requiring patience (gentle art). 5 archaic generous,
courteous. --v.tr. 1 make gentle or docile. 2 handle (a horse
etc.) firmly but gently. --n. a maggot, the larva of the
meat-fly or bluebottle used as fishing-bait. ЬЬgentleness n.
gently adv. [ME f. OF gentil f. L gentilis: see GENTILE]
n.pl. literary people of good family.
gentleman n. (pl. -men) 1 a man (in polite or formal use). 2 a
chivalrous or well-bred man. 3 a man of good social position or
of wealth and leisure (country gentleman). 4 a man of gentle
birth attached to a royal household (gentleman in waiting). 5
(in pl. as a form of address) a male audience or the male part
of an audience. Ьgentleman-at-arms one of a sovereign's
bodyguard. gentleman farmer a country gentleman who farms.
gentleman's (or -men's) agreement one which is binding in honour
but not legally enforceable. [GENTLE + MAN after OF gentilz
adj. like a gentleman in looks or behaviour; befitting a
gentleman. ЬЬgentlemanliness n.
n. (pl. -women) archaic a woman of good birth or breeding.
gentoo n. a penguin, Pygoscelis papua, esp. abundant in the Falkland
Islands. [perh. f. Anglo-Ind. Gentoo = Hindu, f. Port. gentio
n. the social advancement of an inner urban area by the arrival
of affluent middle-class residents. ЬЬgentrify v.tr. (-ies,
gentry n.pl. 1 the people next below the nobility in position and
birth. 2 derog. people (these gentry). [prob. f. obs.
gentrice f. OF genterise var. of gentelise nobility f. gentil
genuflect v.intr. bend the knee, esp. in worship or as a sign of respect.
ЬЬgenuflection n. (also genuflexion). genuflector n. [eccl.L
genuflectere genuflex- f. L genu the knee + flectere bend]
genuine adj. 1 really coming from its stated, advertised, or reputed
source. 2 properly so called; not sham. 3 pure-bred.
ЬЬgenuinely adv. genuineness n. [L genuinus f. genu knee,
with ref. to a father's acknowledging a new-born child by
placing it on his knee: later associated with GENUS]
genus n. (pl. genera) 1 Biol. a taxonomic grouping of organisms
having common characteristics distinct from those of other
genera, usu. containing several or many species and being one of
a series constituting a taxonomic family. 2 a kind or class
having common characteristics. 3 Logic kinds of things
including subordinate kinds or species. [L genus -eris birth,
-geny comb. form forming nouns meaning 'mode of production or
development of' (anthropogeny; ontogeny; pathogeny). [F -g‚nie
(as -GEN, -Y(3))]
Geo. abbr. George.
geo- comb. form earth. [Gk geo- f. ge earth]
geobotany n. the study of the geographical distribution of plants.
adj. 1 considered as viewed from the centre of the earth. 2
having or representing the earth as the centre; not
heliocentric. Ьgeocentric latitude the latitude at which a
planet would appear if viewed from the centre of the earth.
n. the chemistry of the earth and its rocks, minerals, etc.
ЬЬgeochemical adj. geochemist n.
n. 1 the study and measurement of geological time by means of
geological events. 2 the ordering of geological events.
ЬЬgeochronological adj. geochronologist n.
geode n. 1 a small cavity lined with crystals or other mineral
matter. 2 a rock containing such a cavity. ЬЬgeodic adj. [L
geodes f. Gk geodes earthy f. ge earth]
geodesic adj. (also geodetic) 1 of or relating to geodesy. 2 of,
involving, or consisting of a geodesic line. Ьgeodesic dome a
dome constructed of short struts along geodesic lines. geodesic
line the shortest possible line between two points on a curved
geodesy n. the branch of mathematics dealing with the figures and areas
of the earth or large portions of it. ЬЬgeodesist n. [mod.L f.
Gk geodaisia (as GEO-, daio divide)]
geodetic var. of GEODESIC.
var. of GEOGRAPHICAL.
adj. (also geographic) of or relating to geography.
Ьgeographical latitude the angle made with the plane of the
equator by a perpendicular to the earth's surface at any point.
geographical mile a distance equal to one minute of longitude or
latitude at the equator (about 1850 metres). ЬЬgeographically
adv. [geographic f. F g‚ographique or LL geographicus f. Gk
geographikos (as GEO-, -GRAPHIC)]
geography n. 1 the study of the earth's physical features, resources, and
climate, and the physical aspects of its population. 2 the main
physical features of an area. 3 the layout or arrangement of
rooms in a building. ЬЬgeographer n. [F g‚ographie or L
geographia f. Gk geographia (as GEO-, -GRAPHY)]
geoid n. 1 the shape of the earth. 2 a shape formed by the mean sea
level and its imagined extension under land areas. 3 an oblate
spheroid. [Gk geoeides (as GEO-, -OID)]
geology n. 1 the science of the earth, including the composition,
structure, and origin of its rocks. 2 this science applied to
any other planet or celestial body. 3 the geological features
of a district. ЬЬgeologic adj. geological adj. geologically
adv. geologist n. geologize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise).
[mod.L geologia (as GEO-, -LOGY)]
n. the study of the magnetic properties of the earth.
ЬЬgeomagnetic adj. geomagnetically adv.
geomancy n. divination from the configuration of a handful of earth or
random dots. ЬЬgeomantic adj.
geometer n. 1 a person skilled in geometry. 2 any moth, esp. of the
family Geometridae, having twiglike larvae which move in a
looping fashion, seeming to measure the ground. [ME f. LL
geometra f. L geometres f. Gk geometres (as GEO-, metres
geometric adj. (also geometrical) 1 of, according to, or like geometry.
2 (of a design, architectural feature, etc.) characterized by or
decorated with regular lines and shapes. Ьgeometric mean the
central number in a geometric progression, also calculable as
the nth root of a product of n numbers (as 9 from 3 and 27).
geometric progression a progression of numbers with a constant
ratio between each number and the one before (as 1, 3, 9, 27,
81). geometric tracery tracery with openings of geometric form.
ЬЬgeometrically adv. [F g‚ometrique f. L geometricus f. Gk
geometrikos (as GEOMETER)]
geometry n. 1 the branch of mathematics concerned with the properties
and relations of points, lines, surfaces, and solids. 2 the
relative arrangement of objects or parts. ЬЬgeometrician n.
[ME f. OF geometrie f. L geometria f. Gk (as GEO-, -METRY)]
n. the study of the physical features of the surface of the
earth and their relation to its geological structures.
ЬЬgeomorphological adj. geomorphologist n.
geophagy n. the practice of eating earth. [GEO- + Gk phago eat]
n. the physics of the earth. ЬЬgeophysical adj. geophysicist
n. 1 the politics of a country as determined by its
geographical features. 2 the study of this. ЬЬgeopolitical
adj. geopolitically adv. geopolitician n.
Geordie n. Brit. colloq. a native of Tyneside. [GEORGE + -IE]
George n. Brit. sl. the automatic pilot of an aircraft. [the name
n. (also George Medal) (in the UK) decorations for bravery
awarded esp. to civilians, instituted in 1940 by King George VI.
georgette n. a thin silk or cr€pe dress-material. [Georgette de la
Plante, Fr. dressmaker]
adj. 1 of or characteristic of the time of Kings George I-IV
(1714-1830). 2 of or characteristic of the time of Kings George
V and VI (1910-52), esp. of the literature of 1910-20.
adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to Georgia in the Caucasus
(USSR). --n. 1 a native of Georgia; a person of Georgian
descent. 2 the language of Georgia.
adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to Georgia in the US. --n. a
native of Georgia.
geosphere n. 1 the solid surface of the earth. 2 any of the almost
spherical concentric regions of the earth and its atmosphere.
adj. Electronics (of an artificial satellite of the earth)
moving in such an orbit as to remain above the same point on the
earth's surface (see also GEOSYNCHRONOUS).
adj. Meteorol. depending upon the rotation of the earth.
[GEO- + Gk strophe a turning f. strepho to turn]
adj. (of an artificial satellite of the earth) moving in an
orbit equal to the earth's period of rotation (see also
adj. relating to, originating from, or produced by the internal
heat of the earth.
n. plant growth in relation to gravity. Ьnegative geotropism
the tendency of stems etc. to grow away from the centre of the
earth. positive geotropism the tendency of roots to grow
towards the centre of the earth. ЬЬgeotropic adj. [GEO- + Gk
tropikos f. trope a turning f. trepo to turn]
Ger. abbr. German.
geranium n. 1 any herb or shrub of the genus Geranium bearing fruit
shaped like the bill of a crane, e.g. cranesbill. 2 (in general
use) a cultivated pelargonium. 3 the colour of the scarlet
geranium. [L f. Gk geranion f. geranos crane]
gerbera n. any composite plant of the genus Gerbera of Africa or Asia,
esp. the Transvaal daisy. [T. Gerber, Ger. naturalist d. 1743]
gerbil n. (also jerbil) a mouselike desert rodent of the subfamily
Gerbillinae, with long hind legs. [F gerbille f. mod.L
gerbillus dimin. of gerbo JERBOA]
gerenuk n. an antelope, Litocranius walleri, native to E. Africa, with
a very long neck and small head. [Somali]
gerfalcon var. of GYRFALCON.
geriatric adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or relating to old people. 2 colloq.
old, outdated. --n. 1 an old person, esp. one receiving
special care. 2 colloq. a person or thing considered as
relatively old or outdated. [Gk geras old age + iatros doctor]
n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) a branch of medicine or social
science dealing with the health and care of old people.
germ n. 1 a micro-organism, esp. one which causes disease. 2 a a
portion of an organism capable of developing into a new one; the
rudiment of an animal or plant. b an embryo of a seed (wheat
germ). 3 an original idea etc. from which something may
develop; an elementary principle. Ьgerm-cell 1 a cell
containing half the number of chromosomes of a somatic cell and
able to unite with one from the opposite sex to form a new
individual; a gamete. 2 any embryonic cell with the potential
of developing into a gamete. germ warfare the systematic
spreading of micro-organisms to cause disease in an enemy
population. in germ not yet developed. ЬЬgermy adj. [F germe
f. L germen germinis sprout]
German n. & adj. --n. 1 a native or national of Germany; a person of
German descent. 2 the language of Germany, also used in Austria
and Switzerland. --adj. of or relating to Germany or its people
or language. ЬGerman measles a contagious disease, rubella,
with symptoms like mild measles. German shepherd (or shepherd
dog) an Alsatian. German silver a white alloy of nickel, zinc,
and copper. High German a literary and cultured form of German.
Low German German dialects other than High German. [L Germanus
with ref. to related peoples of Central and N. Europe, a name
perh. given by Celts to their neighbours: cf. OIr. gair
german adj. (placed after brother, sister, or cousin) 1 having both
parents the same (brother german). 2 having both grandparents
the same on one side (cousin german). 3 archaic germane. [ME
f. OF germain f. L germanus genuine, of the same parents]
germander n. any plant of the genus Teucrium. Ьgermander speedwell a
creeping plant, Veronica chamaedrys, with germander-like leaves
and blue flowers. [ME f. med.L germandra ult. f. Gk khamaidrus
f. khamai on the ground + drus oak]
germane adj. (usu. foll. by to) relevant (to a subject under
consideration). ЬЬgermanely adv. germaneness n. [var. of
Germanic adj. & n. --adj. 1 having German characteristics. 2 hist. of
the Germans. 3 of the Scandinavians, Anglo-Saxons, or Germans.
4 of the languages or language group called Germanic. --n. 1
the branch of Indo-European languages including English, German,
Dutch, and the Scandinavian languages. 2 the (unrecorded) early
language from which other Germanic languages developed. ЬEast
Germanic an extinct group including Gothic. North Germanic the
Scandinavian languages. West Germanic a group including High
and Low German, English, Frisian, and Dutch. [L Germanicus (as
germanic adj. Chem. of or containing germanium, esp. in its
Germanist n. an expert in or student of the language, literature, and
civilization of Germany, or Germanic languages.
germanium n. Chem. a lustrous brittle semi-metallic element occurring
naturally in sulphide ores and used in semiconductors. °Symb.:
Ge. [mod.L f. Germanus GERMAN]
Germanize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise) make or become German; adopt or cause
to adopt German customs etc. ЬЬGermanization n. Germanizer n.
Germano- comb. form German; German and.
germanous adj. Chem. containing germanium in the bivalent state.
germicide n. a substance destroying germs, esp. those causing disease.
germinal adj. 1 relating to or of the nature of a germ or germs (see
GERM 1). 2 in the earliest stage of development. 3 productive
of new ideas. ЬЬgerminally adv. [L germen germin- sprout: see
germinate v. 1 a intr. sprout, bud, or put forth shoots. b tr. cause to
sprout or shoot. 2 a tr. cause (ideas etc.) to originate or
develop. b intr. come into existence. ЬЬgermination n.
germinative adj. germinator n. [L germinare germinat- (as
germon n. = ALBACORE 1. [F]
n. the scientific study of old age, the process of ageing, and
the special problems of old people. ЬЬgerontological adj.
gerontologist n. [Gk geron -ontos old man + -LOGY]
-gerous comb. form forming adjectives meaning 'bearing' (lanigerous).
v. & n. (also jerrymander) --v.tr. 1 manipulate the boundaries
of (a constituency etc.) so as to give undue influence to some
party or class. 2 manipulate (a situation etc.) to gain
advantage. --n. this practice. ЬЬgerrymanderer n. [the name
of Governor Gerry of Massachusetts + (SALA)MANDER, from the
shape of a district on a political map drawn when he was in
gerund n. Gram. a form of a verb functioning as a noun, orig. in
Latin ending in -ndum (declinable), in English ending in -ing
and used distinctly as a part of a verb (e.g. do you mind my
asking you?). [LL gerundium f. gerundum var. of gerendum, the
gerund of L gerere do]
gerundive n. Gram. a form of a Latin verb, ending in -ndus (declinable)
and functioning as an adjective meaning 'that should or must be
done' etc. [LL gerundivus (modus mood) f. gerundium: see
gesso n. (pl. -oes) plaster of Paris or gypsum as used in painting
or sculpture. [It. f. L gypsum: see GYPSUM]
gestalt n. Psychol. an organized whole that is perceived as more than
the sum of its parts. Ьgestalt psychology a system maintaining
that perceptions, reactions, etc., are gestalts. ЬЬgestaltism
n. gestaltist n. [G, = form, shape]
Gestapo n. 1 the German secret police under Nazi rule. 2 derog. an
organization compared to this. [G, f. Geheime Staats polizei]
gestate v.tr. 1 carry (a foetus) in gestation. 2 develop (an idea
gestation n. 1 a the process of carrying or being carried in the womb
between conception and birth. b this period. 2 the private
development of a plan, idea, etc. [L gestatio f. gestare
frequent. of gerere carry]
v. 1 intr. use gestures instead of or in addition to speech. 2
tr. express with gestures. ЬЬgesticulation n. gesticulative
adj. gesticulator n. gesticulatory adj. [L gesticulari f.
gesticulus dimin. of gestus GESTURE]
gesture n. & v. --n. 1 a significant movement of a limb or the body.
2 the use of such movements esp. to convey feeling or as a
rhetorical device. 3 an action to evoke a response or convey
intention, usu. friendly. --v.tr. & intr. gesticulate.
ЬЬgestural adj. gesturer n. [ME f. med.L gestura f. L gerere
int. expressing a wish of good health, esp. before drinking or
to a person who has sneezed. [G, = health]
get v. & n. --v. (getting; past got; past part. got or US (and in
comb.) gotten) 1 tr. come into the possession of; receive or
earn (get a job; got њ200 a week; got first prize). 2 tr.
fetch, obtain, procure, purchase (get my book for me; got a new
car). 3 tr. go to reach or catch (a bus, train, etc.). 4 tr.
prepare (a meal etc.). 5 intr. & tr. reach or cause to reach a
certain state or condition; become or cause to become (get rich;
get one's feet wet; get to be famous; got them ready; got him
into trouble; cannot get the key into the lock). 6 tr. obtain
as a result of calculation. 7 tr. contract (a disease etc.). 8
tr. establish or be in communication with via telephone or
radio; receive (a radio signal). 9 tr. experience or suffer;
have inflicted on one; receive as one's lot or penalty (got four
years in prison). 10 a tr. succeed in bringing, placing, etc.
(get it round the corner; get it on to the agenda; flattery will
get you nowhere). b intr. & tr. succeed or cause to succeed in
coming or going (will get you there somehow; got absolutely
nowhere). 11 tr. (prec. by have) a possess (have not got a
penny). b (foll. by to + infin.) be bound or obliged (have got
to see you). 12 tr. (foll. by to + infin.) induce; prevail upon
(got them to help me). 13 tr. colloq. understand (a person or
an argument) (have you got that?; I get your point; do you get
me?). 14 tr. colloq. inflict punishment or retribution on,
esp. in retaliation (I'll get you for that). 15 tr. colloq. a
annoy. b move; affect emotionally. c attract, obsess. d
amuse. 16 tr. (foll. by to + infin.) develop an inclination as
specified (am getting to like it). 17 intr. (foll. by verbal
noun) begin (get going). 18 tr. (esp. in past or perfect) catch
in an argument; corner, puzzle. 19 tr. establish (an idea etc.)
in one's mind. 20 intr. sl. be off; go away. 21 tr. archaic
beget. 22 tr. archaic learn; acquire (knowledge) by study.
--n. 1 a an act of begetting (of animals). b an offspring (of
animals). 2 sl. a fool or idiot. Ьget about (or around) 1
travel extensively or fast; go from place to place. 2 manage to
walk, move about, etc. (esp. after illness). 3 (of news) be
circulated, esp. orally. get across 1 manage to communicate (an
idea etc.). 2 (of an idea etc.) be communicated successfully.
3 colloq. annoy, irritate. get along (or on) 1 (foll. by
together, with) live harmoniously, accord. 2 be off! nonsense!
get at 1 reach; get hold of. 2 colloq. imply (what are you
getting at?). get away 1 escape. 2 (as imper.) colloq.
expressing disbelief or scepticism. 3 (foll. by with) escape
blame or punishment for. get back at colloq. retaliate
against. get by colloq. 1 just manage, even with difficulty.
2 be acceptable. get down 1 alight, descend (from a vehicle,
ladder, etc.). 2 record in writing. get a person down depress
or deject him or her. get down to begin working on or
discussing. get even (often foll. by with) 1 achieve revenge;
act in retaliation. 2 equalize the score. get his (or hers
etc.) sl. be killed. get hold of 1 grasp (physically). 2
grasp (intellectually); understand. 3 make contact with (a
person). 4 acquire. get in 1 enter. 2 be elected. get into
become interested or involved in. get it sl. be punished or in
trouble. get it into one's head (foll. by that + clause) firmly
believe or maintain; realize. get off 1 colloq. be acquitted;
escape with little or no punishment. 2 start. 3 alight; alight
from (a bus etc.). 4 go, or cause to go, to sleep. 5 (foll. by
with, together) Brit. colloq. form an amorous or sexual
relationship, esp. abruptly or quickly. get a person off
colloq. cause a person to be acquitted. get on 1 make
progress; manage. 2 enter (a bus etc.). 3 = get along 1. get
on to colloq. 1 make contact with. 2 understand; become aware
of. get out 1 leave or escape. 2 manage to go outdoors. 3
alight from a vehicle. 4 transpire; become known. 5 succeed in
uttering, publishing, etc. 6 solve or finish (a puzzle etc.).
7 Cricket be dismissed. get-out n. a means of avoiding
something. get a person out 1 help a person to leave or escape.
2 Cricket dismiss (a batsman). get out of 1 avoid or escape (a
duty etc.). 2 abandon (a habit) gradually. get a thing out of
manage to obtain it from (a person) esp. with difficulty. get
outside (or outside of) sl. eat or drink. get over 1 recover
from (an illness, upset, etc.). 2 overcome (a difficulty). 3
manage to communicate (an idea etc.). get a thing over (or over
with) complete (a tedious task) promptly. get one's own back
colloq. have one's revenge. get-rich-quick adj. designed to
make a lot of money fast. get rid of see RID. get round (US
around) 1 successfully coax or cajole (a person) esp. to secure
a favour. 2 evade (a law etc.). get round to deal with (a task
etc.) in due course. get somewhere make progress; be initially
successful. get there colloq. 1 succeed. 2 understand what is
meant. get through 1 pass or assist in passing (an examination,
an ordeal, etc.). 2 finish or use up (esp. resources). 3 make
contact by telephone. 4 (foll. by to) succeed in making (a
person) listen or understand. get a thing through cause it to
overcome obstacles, difficulties, etc. get to 1 reach. 2 = get
down to. get together gather, assemble. get-together n.
colloq. a social gathering. get up 1 rise or cause to rise
from sitting etc., or from bed after sleeping or an illness. 2
ascend or mount, e.g. on horseback. 3 (of fire, wind, or the
sea) begin to be strong or agitated. 4 prepare or organize. 5
enhance or refine one's knowledge of (a subject). 6 work up (a
feeling, e.g. anger). 7 produce or stimulate (get up steam; get
up speed). 8 (often refl.) dress or arrange elaborately; make
presentable; arrange the appearance of. 9 (foll. by to) colloq.
indulge or be involved in (always getting up to mischief).
get-up n. colloq. a style or arrangement of dress etc., esp.
an elaborate one. get-up-and-go colloq. energy, vim,
enthusiasm. get the wind up see WIND(1). get with child
archaic make pregnant. have got it bad (or badly) sl. be
obsessed or affected emotionally. ЬЬgettable adj. [ME f. ON
geta obtain, beget, guess, corresp. to OE gietan (recorded only
in compounds), f. Gmc]
adj. colloq. accessible.
getaway n. an escape, esp. after committing a crime.
getter n. & v. --n. 1 in senses of GET v. 2 Physics a substance used
to remove residual gas from an evacuated vessel. --v.tr.
Physics remove (gas) or evacuate (a vessel) with a getter.
geum n. any rosaceous plant of the genus Geum including herb bennet,
with rosettes of leaves and yellow, red, or white flowers.
[mod.L, var. of L gaeum]
GeV abbr. gigaelectronvolt (equivalent to 10(9) electronvolts).
gewgaw n. a gaudy plaything or ornament; a bauble. [ME: orig. unkn.]
geyser n. 1 an intermittently gushing hot spring that throws up a tall
column of water. 2 Brit. an apparatus for heating water rapidly
for domestic use. [Icel. Geysir, the name of a particular
spring in Iceland, rel. to geysa to gush]
Ghanaian adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to Ghana in W. Africa. --n. a
native or national of Ghana; a person of Ghanaian descent.
gharial n. (also gavial) a large Indian crocodile, Gavialis gangeticus,
having a long narrow snout widening at the nostrils. Ьfalse
gharial a similar crocodile, Tomistoma schlegelii, of Indonesia
and Malaya. [Hind.]
ghastly adj. & adv. --adj. (ghastlier, ghastliest) 1 horrible,
frightful. 2 colloq. objectionable, unpleasant. 3 deathlike,
pallid. --adv. in a ghastly or sickly way (ghastly pale).
ЬЬghastlily adv. ghastliness n. [ME gastlich f. obs. gast
terrify: gh after ghost]
ghat n. (also ghaut) in India: 1 steps leading down to a river. 2 a
landing-place. 3 a defile or mountain pass. [Hindi ghat]
Ghazi n. (pl. Ghazis) a Muslim fighter against non-Muslims. [Arab.
al-gazi part. of gaza raid]
ghee n. (also ghi) Indian clarified butter esp. from the milk of a
buffalo or cow. [Hindi ghi f. Skr. ghrit - sprinkled]
gherao n. (pl. -os) (in India and Pakistan) coercion of employers, by
which their workers prevent them from leaving the premises until
certain demands are met. [Hind. gherna besiege]
gherkin n. 1 a small variety of cucumber, or a young green cucumber,
used for pickling. 2 a a trailing plant, Cucumis sativus, with
cucumber-like fruits used for pickling. b this fruit. [Du.
gurkkijn (unrecorded), dimin. of gurk, f. Slavonic, ult. f. med.
ghetto n. & v. --n. (pl. -os) 1 a part of a city, esp. a slum area,
occupied by a minority group or groups. 2 hist. the Jewish
quarter in a city. 3 a segregated group or area. --v.tr.
(-oes, -oed) put or keep (people) in a ghetto. Ьghetto-blaster
sl. a large portable radio, esp. used to play loud pop music.
[perh. f. It. getto foundry (applied to the site of the first
ghetto in Venice in 1516)]
ghi var. of GHEE.
ghillie var. of GILLIE.
ghost n. & v. --n. 1 the supposed apparition of a dead person or
animal; a disembodied spirit. 2 a shadow or mere semblance (not
a ghost of a chance). 3 an emaciated or pale person. 4 a
secondary or duplicated image produced by defective television
reception or by a telescope. 5 archaic a spirit or soul. --v.
1 intr. (often foll. by for) act as ghost-writer. 2 tr. act as
ghost-writer of (a work). Ьghost town a deserted town with few
or no remaining inhabitants. ghost-write v.tr. & intr. act as
ghost-writer (of). ghost-writer a person who writes on behalf
of the credited author of a work. ЬЬghostlike adj. [OE gast f.
WG: gh- occurs first in Caxton, prob. infl. by Flem. gheest]
ghosting n. the appearance of a 'ghost' (see GHOST n. 4) or secondary
image in a television picture.
ghostly adj. (ghostlier, ghostliest) like a ghost; spectral.
ЬЬghostliness n. [OE gastlic (as GHOST)]
ghoul n. 1 a person morbidly interested in death etc. 2 an evil
spirit or phantom. 3 a spirit in Muslim folklore preying on
corpses. ЬЬghoulish adj. ghoulishly adv. ghoulishness n.
[Arab. gul protean desert demon]
GI n. & adj. --n. a private soldier in the US Army. --adj. of or
for US servicemen. [abbr. of government (or general) issue]
giant n. & adj. --n. 1 an imaginary or mythical being of human form
but superhuman size. 2 (in Greek mythology) one of such beings
who fought against the gods. 3 an abnormally tall or large
person, animal, or plant. 4 a person of exceptional ability,
integrity, courage, etc. 5 a large star. --attrib.adj. 1 of
extraordinary size or force, gigantic; monstrous. 2 colloq.
extra large (giant packet). 3 (of a plant or animal) of a very
large kind. Ьgiant-killer a person who defeats a seemingly much
more powerful opponent. ЬЬgiantism n. giant-like adj. [ME
geant (later infl. by L) f. OF, ult. f. L gigas gigant- f. Gk]
giaour n. derog. or literary a non-Muslim, esp. a Christian (orig. a
Turkish name). [Pers. gaur, gor]
Gib. n. colloq. Gibraltar. [abbr.]
gib n. a wood or metal bolt, wedge, or pin for holding a machine
part etc. in place. [18th c.: orig. unkn.]
gibber(1) v. & n. --v.intr. speak fast and inarticulately; chatter
incoherently. --n. such speech or sound. [imit.]
gibber(2) n. Austral. a boulder or large stone. [Aboriginal]
n. one of a group of plant hormones that stimulate the growth
of leaves and shoots. [Gibberella a genus of fungi, dimin. of
genus-name Gibbera f. L gibber hump]
gibberish n. unintelligible or meaningless speech; nonsense. [perh. f.
GIBBER(1) (but attested earlier) + -ISH(1) as used in Spanish,
gibbet n. & v. --n. hist. 1 a a gallows. b an upright post with an
arm on which the bodies of executed criminals were hung up. 2
(prec. by the) death by hanging. --v.tr. (gibbeted, gibbeting)
1 put to death by hanging. 2 a expose on a gibbet. b hang up
as on a gibbet. 3 hold up to contempt. [ME f. OF gibet gallows
dimin. of gibe club, prob. f. Gmc]
gibbon n. any small ape of the genus Hylobates, native to SE Asia,
having a slender body and long arms. [F f. a native name]
gibbous adj. 1 convex or protuberant. 2 (of a moon or planet) having
the bright part greater than a semicircle and less than a
circle. 3 humped or humpbacked. ЬЬgibbosity n. gibbously adv.
gibbousness n. [ME f. LL gibbosus f. gibbus hump]
gibe v. & n. (also jibe) --v.intr. (often foll. by at) jeer, mock.
--n. an instance of gibing; a taunt. ЬЬgiber n. [perh. f. OF
giber handle roughly]
giblets n.pl. the liver, gizzard, neck, etc., of a bird, usu. removed
and kept separate when the bird is prepared for cooking. [OF
gibelet game stew, perh. f. gibier game]
giddy adj. & v. --adj. (giddier, giddiest) 1 having a sensation of
whirling and a tendency to fall, stagger, or spin round. 2 a
overexcited as a result of success, pleasurable emotion, etc.;
mentally intoxicated. b excitable, frivolous. 3 tending to
make one giddy. --v.tr. & intr. (-ies, -ied) make or become
giddy. ЬЬgiddily adv. giddiness n. [OE gidig insane, lit.
'possessed by a god']
gie v.tr. & intr. Sc. = GIVE.
gift n. & v. --n. 1 a thing given; a present. 2 a natural ability
or talent. 3 the power to give (in his gift). 4 the act or an
instance of giving. 5 colloq. an easy task. --v.tr. 1 endow
with gifts. 2 a (foll. by with) give to as a gift. b bestow as
a gift. Ьgift of tongues see TONGUE. gift token (or voucher) a
voucher used as a gift and exchangeable for goods. gift-wrap
(-wrapped, -wrapping) wrap attractively as a gift. look a
gift-horse in the mouth (usu. neg.) find fault with what has
been given. [ME f. ON gipt f. Gmc, rel. to GIVE]
gifted adj. exceptionally talented or intelligent. ЬЬgiftedly adv.
gig(1) n. 1 a light two-wheeled one-horse carriage. 2 a light ship's
boat for rowing or sailing. 3 a rowing-boat esp. for racing.
[ME in var. senses: prob. imit.]
gig(2) n. & v. colloq. --n. an engagement of an entertainer, esp. of
musicians to play jazz or dance music, usu. for a single
appearance. --v.intr. (gigged, gigging) perform a gig. [20th
c.: orig. unkn.]
gig(3) n. a kind of fishing-spear. [short for fizgig, fishgig: cf.
Sp. fisga harpoon]
giga- comb. form denoting a factor of 10(9). [Gk gigas giant]
gigametre n. a metric unit equal to 10(9) metres.
gigantic adj. 1 very large; enormous. 2 like or suited to a giant.
ЬЬgigantesque adj. gigantically adv. [L gigas gigantis GIANT]
gigantism n. abnormal largeness, esp. Med. excessive growth due to
hormonal imbalance, or to polyploidy in plants.
giggle v. & n. --v.intr. laugh in half-suppressed spasms, esp. in an
affected or silly manner. --n. 1 such a laugh. 2 colloq. an
amusing person or thing; a joke. ЬЬgiggler n. giggly adj.
(gigglier, giggliest). giggliness n. [imit.: cf. Du.
gichelen, G gickeln]
gigolo n. (pl. -os) 1 a young man paid by an older woman to be her
escort or lover. 2 a professional male dancing-partner or
escort. [F, formed as masc. of gigole dance-hall woman]
gigot n. a leg of mutton or lamb. Ьgigot sleeve a leg-of-mutton
sleeve. [F, dimin. of dial. gigue leg]
gigue n. 1 = JIG 1. 2 Mus. a lively dance usu. in a dotted rhythm
with two sections each repeated. [F: see JIG(1)]
gild(1) v.tr. (past part. gilded or as adj. in sense 1 gilt) 1 cover
thinly with gold. 2 tinge with a golden colour or light. 3
give a specious or false brilliance to. Ьgilded cage luxurious
but restrictive surroundings. gilded youth young people of
wealth, fashion, and flair. gild the lily try to improve what
is already beautiful or excellent. ЬЬgilder n. [OE gyldan f.
gild(2) var. of GUILD.
gilding n. 1 the act or art of applying gilt. 2 material used in
gilet n. a light often padded waistcoat, usu. worn for warmth by
women. [F, = waistcoat]
gilgai n. Austral. a saucer-like natural reservoir for rainwater.
gill(1) n. & v. --n. (usu. in pl.) 1 the respiratory organ in fishes
and other aquatic animals. 2 the vertical radial plates on the
underside of mushrooms and other fungi. 3 the flesh below a
person's jaws and ears (green about the gills). 4 the wattles
or dewlap of fowls. --v.tr. 1 gut (a fish). 2 cut off the
gills of (a mushroom). 3 catch in a gill-net. Ьgill-cover a
bony case protecting a fish's gills; an operculum. gill-net a
net for entangling fishes by the gills. ЬЬgilled adj. (also in
comb.). [ME f. ON gil (unrecorded) f. Gmc]
gill(2) n. 1 a unit of liquid measure, equal to a quarter of a pint. 2
Brit. dial. half a pint. [ME f. OF gille, med.L gillo f. LL
gello, gillo water-pot]
gill(3) n. (also ghyll) Brit. 1 a deep usu. wooded ravine. 2 a narrow
mountain torrent. [ME f. ON gil glen]
gill(4) n. (also Gill, jill, Jill) 1 derog. a young woman. 2 colloq.
or dial. a female ferret. [ME, abbr. of Gillian f. OF Juliane
f. L Juliana (Julius)]
gillie n. (also ghillie) Sc. 1 a man or boy attending a person
hunting or fishing. 2 hist. a Highland chief's attendant.
[Gael. gille lad, servant]
gillion n. 1 a thousand million. 2 a large number. °Mainly used to
avoid the ambiguity of billion. [GIGA- + MILLION]
n. 1 (in full clove gillyflower) a clove-scented pink (see
CLOVE(1) 2). 2 any of various similarly scented flowers such as
the wallflower or white stock. [ME gilofre, gerofle f. OF
gilofre, girofle, f. med.L f. Gk karuophullon clove-tree f.
karuon nut + phullon leaf, assim. to FLOWER]
gilt(1) adj. & n. --adj. 1 covered thinly with gold. 2 gold-coloured.
--n. 1 gold or a goldlike substance applied in a thin layer to
a surface. 2 (often in pl.) a gilt-edged security. Ьgilt-edged
1 (of securities, stocks, etc.) having a high degree of
reliability as an investment. 2 having a gilded edge. [past
part. of GILD(1)]
gilt(2) n. a young unbred sow. [ME f. ON gyltr]
gimbals n.pl. a contrivance, usu. of rings and pivots, for keeping
instruments such as a compass and chronometer horizontal at sea,
in the air, etc. [var. of earlier gimmal f. OF gemel double
finger-ring f. L gemellus dimin. of geminus twin]
gimcrack adj. & n. --adj. showy but flimsy and worthless. --n. a cheap
showy ornament; a knick-knack. ЬЬgimcrackery n. gimcracky adj.
[ME gibecrake a kind of ornament, of unkn. orig.]
gimlet n. 1 a small tool with a screw-tip for boring holes. 2 a
cocktail usu. of gin and lime-juice. Ьgimlet eye an eye with a
piercing glance. [ME f. OF guimbelet, dimin. of guimble]
gimmick n. colloq. a trick or device, esp. to attract attention,
publicity, or trade. ЬЬgimmickry n. gimmicky adj. [20th-c.
US: orig. unkn.]
gimp(1) n. (also guimp, gymp) 1 a twist of silk etc. with cord or wire
running through it, used esp. as trimming. 2 fishing-line of
silk etc. bound with wire. 3 a coarser thread outlining the
design of lace. [Du.: orig. unkn.]
gimp(2) n. sl. a lame person or leg.
gin(1) n. an alcoholic spirit distilled from grain or malt and
flavoured with juniper berries. Ьgin rummy a form of the
card-game rummy. [abbr. of GENEVA]
gin(2) n. & v. --n. 1 a snare or trap. 2 a machine for separating
cotton from its seeds. 3 a kind of crane and windlass. --v.tr.
(ginned, ginning) 1 treat (cotton) in a gin. 2 trap. ЬЬginner
n. [ME f. OF engin ENGINE]
gin(3) n. Austral. an Aboriginal woman. [Aboriginal]
ginger n., adj., & v. --n. 1 a a hot spicy root usu. powdered for use
in cooking, or preserved in syrup, or candied. b the plant,
Zingiber officinale, of SE Asia, having this root. 2 a light
reddish-yellow colour. 3 spirit, mettle. 4 stimulation.
--adj. of a ginger colour. --v.tr. 1 flavour with ginger. 2
(foll. by up) rouse or enliven. Ьblack ginger unscraped ginger.
ginger ale an effervescent non-alcoholic clear drink flavoured
with ginger extract. ginger beer an effervescent mildly
alcoholic cloudy drink, made by fermenting a mixture of ginger
and syrup. ginger group Brit. a group within a party or
movement that presses for stronger or more radical policy or
action. ginger-nut a ginger-flavoured biscuit. ginger-pop
colloq. = ginger ale. ginger-snap a thin brittle biscuit
flavoured with ginger. ginger wine a drink of fermented sugar,
water, and bruised ginger. ЬЬgingery adj. [ME f. OE gingiber &
OF gingi(m)bre, both f. med.L gingiber ult. f. Skr. srngaveram
f. srngam horn + -vera body, with ref. to the antler-shape of
n. 1 a cake made with treacle or syrup and flavoured with
ginger. 2 (often attrib.) a gaudy or tawdry decoration or
gingerly adv. & adj. --adv. in a careful or cautious manner. --adj.
showing great care or caution. ЬЬgingerliness n. [perh. f. OF
gensor delicate, compar. of gent graceful f. L genitus
gingham n. a plain-woven cotton cloth esp. striped or checked. [Du.
gingang f. Malay ginggang (orig. adj. = striped)]
gingili n. 1 sesame. 2 sesame oil. [Hindi jinjali f. Arab. juljulan]
gingiva n. (pl. gingivae) the gum. ЬЬgingival adj. [L]
n. inflammation of the gums.
gingko var. of GINKGO.
ginglymus n. (pl. ginglymi) Anat. a hingelike joint in the body with
motion in one plane only, e.g. the elbow or knee. [mod.L f. Gk
gink n. sl. often derog. a fellow; a man. [20th-c. US: orig.
ginkgo n. (also gingko) (pl. -os or -oes) an orig. Chinese and
Japanese tree, Ginkgo biloba, with fan-shaped leaves and yellow
flowers. Also called maidenhair tree. [Jap. ginkyo f. Chin.
yinxing silver apricot]
ginormous adj. Brit. sl. very large; enormous. [GIANT + ENORMOUS]
ginseng n. 1 any of several medicinal plants of the genus Panax, found
in E. Asia and N. America. 2 the root of this. [Chin. renshen
perh. = man-image, with allusion to its forked root]
n. (also gyppy tummy) colloq. diarrhoea affecting visitors to
hot countries. [abbr. of EGYPTIAN]
gipsy var. of GYPSY.
giraffe n. (pl. same or giraffes) a ruminant mammal, Giraffa
camelopardalis of Africa, the tallest living animal, with a long
neck and forelegs and a skin of dark patches separated by
lighter lines. [F girafe, It. giraffa, ult. f. Arab. zarafa]
girandole n. 1 a revolving cluster of fireworks. 2 a branched
candle-bracket or candlestick. 3 an earring or pendant with a
large central stone surrounded by small ones. [F f. It.
girandola f. girare GYRATE]
girasol n. (also girasole) a kind of opal reflecting a reddish glow; a
fire-opal. [orig. = sunflower, f. F girasol or It. girasole f.
girare (as GIRANDOLE) + sole sun]
gird(1) v.tr. (past and past part. girded or girt) literary 1
encircle, attach, or secure with a belt or band. 2 secure
(clothes) on the body with a girdle or belt. 3 enclose or
encircle. 4 a (foll. by with) equip with a sword in a belt. b
fasten (a sword) with a belt. 5 (foll. by round) place (cord
etc.) round. Ьgird (or gird up) one's loins prepare for action.
[OE gyrdan f. Gmc (as GIRTH)]
gird(2) v. & n. --v.intr. (foll. by at) jeer or gibe. --n. a gibe or
taunt. [ME, = strike etc.: orig. unkn.]
girder n. a large iron or steel beam or compound structure for bearing
loads, esp. in bridge-building. [GIRD(1) + -ER(1)]
girdle(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a belt or cord worn round the waist. 2 a
woman's corset extending from waist to thigh. 3 a thing that
surrounds like a girdle. 4 the bony support for a limb (pelvic
girdle). 5 the part of a cut gem dividing the crown from the
base and embraced by the setting. 6 a ring round a tree made by
the removal of bark. --v.tr. 1 surround with a girdle. 2
remove a ring of bark from (a tree), esp. to make it more
fruitful. [OE gyrdel: see GIRD(1)]
girdle(2) n. Sc. & N.Engl. a circular iron plate placed over a fire or
otherwise heated for baking, toasting, etc. [var. of GRIDDLE]
girl n. 1 a female child or youth. 2 colloq. a young (esp.
unmarried) woman. 3 colloq. a girlfriend or sweetheart. 4 a
female servant. Ьgirl Friday see FRIDAY. ЬЬgirlhood n. [ME
gurle, girle, gerle, perh. rel. to LG g”r child]
n. 1 a regular female companion or lover. 2 a female friend.
girlie adj. colloq. (of a magazine etc.) depicting nude or partially
nude young women in erotic poses.
girlish adj. of or like a girl. ЬЬgirlishly adv. girlishness n.
giro n. & v. --n. (pl. -os) 1 a system of credit transfer between
banks, post offices, etc. 2 a cheque or payment by giro.
--v.tr. (-oes, -oed) pay by giro. [G f. It., = circulation (of
girt(1) past part. of GIRD(1).
girt(2) var. of GIRTH.
girth n. & v. (also girt) --n. 1 the distance around a thing. 2 a
band round the body of a horse to secure the saddle etc. --v.
1 tr. a secure (a saddle etc.) with a girth. b put a girth on
(a horse). 2 tr. surround, encircle. 3 intr. measure (an
amount) in girth. [ME f. ON gj”rth, Goth. gairda f. Gmc]
gismo n. (also gizmo) (pl. -os) sl. a gadget. [20th c.: orig.
gist n. 1 the substance or essence of a matter. 2 Law the real
ground of an action etc. [OF, 3rd sing. pres. of gesir lie f. L
git n. Brit. sl. a silly or contemptible person. [var. of GET
gЊte n. a furnished holiday house in France, usu. small and in a
rural district. [orig. = lodging: F f. OF giste, rel. to g‚sir
gittern n. a medieval stringed instrument, a forerunner of the guitar.
[ME f. OF guiterne: cf. CITTERN, GUITAR]
give v. & n. --v. (past gave; past part. given) 1 tr. (also
absol.; often foll. by to) transfer the possession of freely;
hand over as a present (gave them her old curtains; gives to
cancer research). 2 tr. a transfer the ownership of with or
without actual delivery; bequeath (gave him њ200 in her will).
b transfer, esp. temporarily or for safe keeping; hand over;
provide with (gave him the dog to hold; gave them a drink). c
administer (medicine). d deliver (a message) (give her my best
wishes). 3 tr. (usu. foll. by for) make over in exchange or
payment; pay; sell (gave him њ30 for the bicycle). 4 tr. a
confer; grant (a benefit, an honour, etc.). b accord; bestow
(one's affections, confidence, etc.). c award; administer
(one's approval, blame, etc.); tell, offer (esp. something
unpleasant) (gave him a talking-to; gave him my blessing; gave
him the sack). d pledge, assign as a guarantee (gave his word).
5 tr. a effect or perform (an action etc.) (gave him a kiss;
gave a jump). b utter (gave a shriek). 6 tr. allot; assign;
grant (was given the contract). 7 tr. (in passive; foll. by to)
be inclined to or fond of (is given to speculation). 8 tr.
yield as a product or result (the lamp gives a bad light; the
field gives fodder for twenty cows). 9 intr. a yield to
pressure; become relaxed; lose firmness (this elastic doesn't
give properly). b collapse (the roof gave under the pressure).
10 intr. (usu. foll. by of) grant; bestow (gave freely of his
time). 11 tr. a commit, consign, or entrust (gave him into
custody; give her into your care). b sanction the marriage of
(a daughter etc.). 12 tr. devote; dedicate (gave his life to
table tennis; shall give it my attention). 13 tr. (usu.
absol.) colloq. tell what one knows (What happened? Come on,
give!). 14 tr. present; offer; show; hold out (gives no sign of
life; gave her his arm; give him your ear). 15 tr. Theatr.
read, recite, perform, act, etc. (gave them Hamlet's soliloquy).
16 tr. impart; be a source of (gave him my sore throat; gave its
name to the battle; gave me much pain; gives him a right to
complain). 17 tr. allow (esp. a fixed amount of time) (can give
you five minutes). 18 tr. (usu. foll. by for) value (something)
(gives nothing for their opinions). 19 tr. concede; yield (I
give you the victory). 20 tr. deliver (a judgement etc.)
authoritatively (gave his verdict). 21 tr. Cricket (of an
umpire) declare (a batsman) out or not out. 22 tr. toast (a
person, cause, etc.) (I give you our President). 23 tr. provide
(a party, meal, etc.) as host (gave a banquet). --n. 1
capacity to yield or bend under pressure; elasticity (there is
no give in a stone floor). 2 ability to adapt or comply (no
give in his attitudes). Ьgive and take v.tr. exchange (words,
blows, or concessions). --n. an exchange of words etc.; a
compromise. give as good as one gets retort adequately in words
or blows. give away 1 transfer as a gift. 2 hand over (a
bride) ceremonially to a bridegroom. 3 betray or expose to
ridicule or detection. 4 Austral. abandon, desist from, give
up, lose faith or interest in. give-away n. colloq. 1 an
inadvertent betrayal or revelation. 2 an act of giving away. 3
a free gift; a low price. give back return (something) to its
previous owner or in exchange. give a person the best see BEST.
give birth (to) see BIRTH. give chase pursue a person, animal,
etc.; hunt. give down (often absol.) (of a cow) let (milk)
flow. give forth emit; publish; report. give the game (or
show) away reveal a secret or intention. give a hand see HAND.
give a person (or the devil) his or her due acknowledge, esp.
grudgingly, a person's rights, abilities, etc. give in 1 cease
fighting or arguing; yield. 2 hand in (a document etc.) to an
official etc. give in marriage sanction the marriage of (one's
daughter etc.). give it to a person colloq. scold or punish.
give me I prefer or admire (give me the Greek islands). give
off emit (vapour etc.). give oneself (of a woman) yield
sexually. give oneself airs act pretentiously or snobbishly.
give oneself up to 1 abandon oneself to an emotion, esp.
despair. 2 addict oneself to. give on to (or into) (of a
window, corridor, etc.) overlook or lead into. give or take
colloq. add or subtract (a specified amount or number) in
estimating. give out 1 announce; emit; distribute. 2 cease or
break down from exhaustion etc. 3 run short. give over 1
colloq. cease from doing; abandon (a habit etc.); desist (give
over sniffing). 2 hand over. 3 devote. give rise to cause,
induce, suggest. give tongue 1 speak one's thoughts. 2 (of
hounds) bark, esp. on finding a scent. give a person to
understand inform authoritatively. give up 1 resign; surrender.
2 part with. 3 deliver (a wanted person etc.). 4 pronounce
incurable or insoluble; renounce hope of. 5 renounce or cease
(an activity). give up the ghost archaic or colloq. die. give
way see WAY. give a person what for colloq. punish or scold
severely. give one's word (or word of honour) promise solemnly.
not give a damn (or monkey's or toss etc.) colloq. not care at
all. what gives? colloq. what is the news?; what's happening?
would give the world (or one's ears, eyes, etc.) for covet or
wish for desperately. ЬЬgiveable adj. giver n. [OE g(i)efan
given adj. & n. --adj. 1 as previously stated or assumed; granted;
specified (given that he is a liar, we cannot trust him; a given
number of people). 2 Law (of a document) signed and dated
(given this day the 30th June). --n. a known fact or situation.
Ьgiven name US a name given at, or as if at, baptism; a
Christian name. [past part. of GIVE]
gizmo var. of GISMO.
gizzard n. 1 the second part of a bird's stomach, for grinding food
usu. with grit. 2 a muscular stomach of some fish, insects,
molluscs, and other invertebrates. Ьstick in one's gizzard
colloq. be distasteful. [ME giser f. OF giser, gesier etc.,
ult. f. L gigeria cooked entrails of fowl]
glabella n. (pl. glabellae) the smooth part of the forehead above and
between the eyebrows. ЬЬglabellar adj. [mod.L f. L glabellus
(adj.) dimin. of glaber smooth]
glabrous adj. free from hair or down; smooth skinned. [L glaber glabri
glac‚ adj. 1 (of fruit, esp. cherries) preserved in sugar, usu.
resulting in a glossy surface. 2 (of cloth, leather, etc.)
smooth; polished. Ьglac‚ icing icing made with icing sugar and
water. [F, past part. of glacer to ice, gloss f. glace ice:
glacial adj. 1 of ice; icy. 2 Geol. characterized or produced by the
presence or agency of ice. 3 Chem. forming icelike crystals
upon freezing (glacial acetic acid). Ьglacial epoch (or period)
a period when ice-sheets were exceptionally extensive.
ЬЬglacially adv. [F glacial or L glacialis icy f. glacies ice]
glaciated adj. 1 marked or polished by the action of ice. 2 covered or
having been covered by glaciers or ice sheets. ЬЬglaciation n.
[past part. of glaciate f. L glaciare freeze f. glacies ice]
glacier n. a mass of land ice formed by the accumulation of snow on
high ground. [F f. glace ice ult. f. L glacies]
n. the science of the internal dynamics and effects of
glaciers. ЬЬglaciological adj. glaciologist n. [L glacies ice
glacis n. (pl. same) a bank sloping down from a fort, on which
attackers are exposed to the defenders' missiles etc. [F f. OF
glacier to slip f. glace ice: see GLACIER]
glad(1) adj. & v. --adj. (gladder, gladdest) 1 (predic.; usu. foll. by
of, about, or to + infin.) pleased; willing (shall be glad to
come; would be glad of a chance to talk about it). 2 a marked
by, filled with, or expressing, joy (a glad expression). b (of
news, events, etc.) giving joy (glad tidings). 3 (of objects)
bright; beautiful. --v.tr. (gladded, gladding) archaic make
glad. Ьthe glad eye colloq. an amorous glance. glad hand the
hand of welcome. glad-hand v.tr. greet cordially; welcome.
glad rags colloq. best clothes; evening dress. ЬЬgladly adv.
gladness n. gladsome adj. poet. [OE gl‘d f. Gmc]
glad(2) n. (also Austral. gladdie) colloq. a gladiolus. [abbr.]
gladden v.tr. & intr. make or become glad. ЬЬgladdener n.
gladdie Austral. var. of GLAD(2).
glade n. an open space in a wood or forest. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
gladiator n. 1 hist. a man trained to fight with a sword or other weapons
at ancient Roman shows. 2 a person defending or opposing a
cause; a controversialist. ЬЬgladiatorial adj. [L f. gladius
gladiolus n. (pl. gladioli or gladioluses) any iridaceous plant of the
genus Gladiolus with sword-shaped leaves and usu. brightly
coloured flower-spikes. [L, dimin. of gladius sword]
n. a bag like a briefcase having two equal compartments joined
by a hinge. [W. E. Gladstone, Engl. statesman d. 1898]
adj. of or relating to the alphabet ascribed to St Cyril and
formerly used in writing some Slavonic languages. [mod.L
glagoliticus f. Serbo-Croatian glagolica Glagolitic alphabet f.
OSlav. glagol word]
glair n. (also glaire) 1 white of egg. 2 an adhesive preparation
made from this, used in bookbinding etc. ЬЬglaireous adj.
glairy adj. [ME f. OF glaire, ult. f. L clara fem. of clarus
glaire var. of GLAIR.
glaive n. archaic poet. 1 a broadsword. 2 any sword. [ME f. OF,
app. f. L gladius sword]
glamorize v.tr. (also glamourize, -ise) make glamorous or attractive.
glamour n. & v. (US glamor) --n. 1 physical attractiveness, esp. when
achieved by make-up etc. 2 alluring or exciting beauty or charm
(the glamour of New York). --v.tr. 1 poet. affect with
glamour; bewitch; enchant. 2 colloq. make glamorous. Ьcast a
glamour over enchant. glamour girl (or boy) an attractive young
woman (or man), esp. a model etc. ЬЬglamorous adj. glamorously
adv. [18th c.: var. of GRAMMAR, with ref. to the occult
practices associated with learning in the Middle Ages]
glance(1) v. & n. --v. 1 intr. (often foll. by down, up, etc.) cast a
momentary look (glanced up at the sky). 2 intr. (often foll. by
off) (esp. of a weapon) glide or bounce (off an object). 3
intr. (usu. foll. by over, off, from) (of talk or a talker) pass
quickly over a subject or subjects (glanced over the question of
payment). 4 intr. (of a bright object or light) flash, dart, or
gleam; reflect (the sun glanced off the knife). 5 tr. (esp. of
a weapon) strike (an object) obliquely. 6 tr. Cricket deflect
(the ball) with an oblique stroke. --n. 1 (usu. foll. by at,
into, over, etc.) a brief look (took a glance at the paper;
threw a glance over her shoulder). 2 a a flash or gleam (a
glance of sunlight). b a sudden movement producing this. 3 a
swift oblique movement or impact. 4 Cricket a stroke with the
bat's face turned slantwise to deflect the ball. Ьat a glance
immediately upon looking. glance at 1 give a brief look at. 2
make a passing and usu. sarcastic allusion to. glance one's eye
(foll. by at, over, etc.) look at briefly (esp. a document).
glance over (or through) read cursorily. ЬЬglancingly adv. [ME
glence etc., prob. a nasalized form of obs. glace in the same
sense, f. OF glacier to slip: see GLACIS]
glance(2) n. any lustrous sulphide ore (copper glance; lead glance). [G
gland(1) n. 1 a an organ in an animal body secreting substances for use
in the body or for ejection. b a structure resembling this,
such as a lymph gland. 2 Bot. a secreting cell or group of
cells on the surface of a plant-structure. [F glande f. OF
glandre f. L glandulae throat-glands]
gland(2) n. a sleeve used to produce a seal round a moving shaft. [19th
c.: perh. var. of glam, glan a vice, rel. to CLAMP(1)]
glanders n.pl. (also treated as sing.) 1 a contagious disease of horses,
caused by a bacterium and characterized by swellings below the
jaw and mucous discharge from the nostrils. 2 this disease in
humans or other animals. ЬЬglandered adj. glanderous adj. [OF
glandre: see GLAND(1)]
glandular adj. of or relating to a gland or glands. Ьglandular fever an
infectious viral disease characterized by swelling of the lymph
glands and prolonged lassitude, infectious mononucleosis (see
MONONUCLEOSIS). [F glandulaire (as GLAND(1))]
glans n. (pl. glandes) the rounded part forming the end of the penis
or clitoris. [L, = acorn]
glare(1) v. & n. --v. 1 intr. (usu. foll. by at, upon) look fiercely or
fixedly. 2 intr. shine dazzlingly or disagreeably. 3 tr.
express (hate, defiance, etc.) by a look. 4 intr. be
over-conspicuous or obtrusive. --n. 1 a strong fierce light,
esp. sunshine. b oppressive public attention (the glare of
fame). 2 a fierce or fixed look (a glare of defiance). 3
tawdry brilliance. ЬЬglary adj. [ME, prob. ult. rel. to GLASS:
cf. MDu. and MLG glaren gleam, glare]
glare(2) adj. US (esp. of ice) smooth and glassy. [perh. f. glare
frost (16th c., of uncert. orig.)]
glaring adj. 1 obvious, conspicuous (a glaring error). 2 shining
oppressively. 3 staring fiercely. ЬЬglaringly adv.
glasnost n. (in the Soviet Union) the policy or practice of more open
consultative government and wider dissemination of information.
[Russ. glasnost', lit. = publicity, openness]
glass n., v., & adj. --n. 1 a (often attrib.) a hard, brittle, usu.
transparent, translucent, or shiny substance, made by fusing
sand with soda and lime and sometimes other ingredients (a glass
jug) (cf. crown glass, flint glass, plate glass). b a
substance of similar properties or composition. 2 (often
collect.) an object or objects made from, or partly from, glass,
esp.: a a drinking vessel. b a mirror; a looking-glass. c an
hour- or sand-glass. d a window. e a greenhouse (rows of
lettuce under glass). f glass ornaments. g a barometer. h a
glass disc covering a watch-face. i a magnifying lens. j a
monocle. 3 (in pl.) a spectacles. b field-glasses;
opera-glasses. 4 the amount of liquid contained in a glass; a
drink (he likes a glass). --v.tr. 1 (usu. as glassed adj.) fit
with glass; glaze. 2 poet. reflect as in a mirror. 3 Mil. look
at or for with field-glasses. --adj. of or made from glass.
Ьglass-blower a person who blows semi-molten glass to make
glassware. glass-blowing this occupation. glass case an
exhibition display case made mostly from glass. glass-cloth 1 a
linen cloth for drying glasses. 2 a cloth covered with powdered
glass or abrasive, like glass-paper. glass cloth a woven fabric
of fine-spun glass. glass-cutter 1 a worker who cuts glass. 2
a tool used for cutting glass. glass eye a false eye made from
glass. glass fibre 1 a filament or filaments of glass made into
fabric. 2 such filaments embedded in plastic as reinforcement.
glass-gall = SANDIVER. glass-making the manufacture of glass.
glass-paper paper covered with glass-dust or abrasive and used
for smoothing and polishing. glass snake any snakelike lizard
of the genus Ophisaurus, with a very brittle tail. glass wool
glass in the form of fine fibres used for packing and
insulation. has had a glass too much is rather drunk.
ЬЬglassful n. (pl. -fuls). glassless adj. glasslike adj.
[OE gl‘s f. Gmc: cf. GLAZE]
n. 1 a greenhouse. 2 Brit. sl. a military prison. 3 a
building where glass is made.
glassie var. of GLASSY n.
glassine n. a glossy transparent paper. [GLASS]
glassware n. articles made from glass, esp. drinking glasses, tableware,
glasswort n. any plant of the genus Salicornia or Salsola formerly burnt
for use in glass-making.
glassy adj. & n. --adj. (glassier, glassiest) 1 of or resembling
glass, esp. in smoothness. 2 (of the eye, the expression, etc.)
abstracted; dull; fixed (fixed her with a glassy stare). --n.
(also glassie) Austral. a glass marble. Ьthe (or just the)
glassy Austral. the most excellent person or thing. ЬЬglassily
adv. glassiness n.
adj. & n. --adj. of or relating to Glasgow in Scotland. --n. a
native of Glasgow. [Glasgow after Norwegian etc.]
n. (also Glauber's salts) a crystalline hydrated form of sodium
sulphate used esp. as a laxative. [J. R. Glauber, Ger. chemist
glaucoma n. an eye-condition with increased pressure within the eyeball,
causing gradual loss of sight. ЬЬglaucomatous adj. [L f. Gk
glaukoma -atos, ult. f. glaukos: see GLAUCOUS]
glaucous adj. 1 of a dull greyish green or blue. 2 covered with a
powdery bloom as of grapes. [L glaucus f. Gk glaukos]
glaze v. & n. --v. 1 tr. a fit (a window, picture, etc.) with
glass. b provide (a building) with glass windows. 2 tr. a
cover (pottery etc.) with a glaze. b fix (paint) on pottery
with a glaze. 3 tr. cover (pastry, meat, etc.) with a glaze. 4
intr. (often foll. by over) (of the eyes) become fixed or glassy
(his eyes glazed over). 5 tr. cover (cloth, paper, leather, a
painted surface, etc.) with a glaze. 6 tr. give a glassy
surface to, e.g. by rubbing. --n. 1 a vitreous substance, usu.
a special glass, used to glaze pottery. 2 a smooth shiny
coating of milk, sugar, gelatine, etc., on food. 3 a thin
topcoat of transparent paint used to modify the tone of the
underlying colour. 4 a smooth surface formed by glazing. 5 US
a thin coating of ice. Ьglazed frost a glassy coating of ice
caused by frozen rain or a sudden thaw succeeded by a frost.
glaze in enclose (a building, a window frame, etc.) with glass.
ЬЬglazer n. glazy adj. [ME f. an oblique form of GLASS]
glazier n. a person whose trade is glazing windows etc. ЬЬglaziery n.
glazing n. 1 the act or an instance of glazing. 2 windows (see also
double glazing). 3 material used to produce a glaze.
GLC abbr. hist. (in the UK) Greater London Council.
gleam n. & v. --n. 1 a faint or brief light (a gleam of sunlight).
2 a faint, sudden, intermittent, or temporary show (not a gleam
of hope). --v.intr. 1 emit gleams. 2 shine with a faint or
intermittent brightness. 3 (of a quality) be indicated (fear
gleamed in his eyes). ЬЬgleamingly adv. gleamy adj. [OE gl‘m:
glean v. 1 tr. collect or scrape together (news, facts, gossip, etc.)
in small quantities. 2 a tr. (also absol.) gather (ears of corn
etc.) after the harvest. b tr. strip (a field etc.) after a
harvest. ЬЬgleaner n. [ME f. OF glener f. LL glennare, prob.
of Celt. orig.]
gleanings n.pl. things gleaned, esp. facts.
glebe n. 1 a piece of land serving as part of a clergyman's benefice
and providing income. 2 poet. earth; land; a field. [ME f. L
gl(a)eba clod, soil]
glee n. 1 mirth; delight (watched the enemy's defeat with glee). 2
a song for three or more, esp. adult male, voices, singing
different parts simultaneously, usu. unaccompanied. Ьglee club
a society for singing part-songs. ЬЬgleesome adj. [OE glio,
gleo minstrelsy, jest f. Gmc]
gleeful adj. joyful. ЬЬgleefully adv. gleefulness n.
n. the standardization of political, economic, and social
institutions in authoritarian States. [G]
glen n. a narrow valley. [Gael. & Ir. gleann]
glengarry n. (pl. -ies) a brimless Scottish hat with a cleft down the
centre and usu. two ribbons hanging at the back. [Glengarry in
n. a shallow depression on a bone, esp. the scapula and
temporal bone, receiving the projection of another bone to form
a joint. [F gl‚no‹de f. Gk glenoeides f. glene socket]
gley n. a tacky waterlogged soil grey to blue in colour.
[Ukrainian, = sticky blue clay, rel. to CLAY]
glia n. = NEUROGLIA. ЬЬglial adj. [Gk, = glue]
glib adj. (glibber, glibbest) 1 (of a speaker, speech, etc.) fluent
and voluble but insincere and shallow. 2 archaic smooth;
unimpeded. ЬЬglibly adv. glibness n. [rel. to obs. glibbery
slippery f. Gmc: perh. imit.]
glide v. & n. --v. 1 intr. (of a stream, bird, snake, ship, train,
skater, etc.) move with a smooth continuous motion. 2 intr. (of
an aircraft, esp. a glider) fly without engine-power. 3 intr.
of time etc.: a pass gently and imperceptibly. b (often foll.
by into) pass and change gradually and imperceptibly (night
glided into day). 4 intr. move quietly or stealthily. 5 tr.
cause to glide (breezes glided the ship on its course). 6 tr.
cross in a glider. --n. 1 a the act of gliding. b an instance
of this. 2 Phonet. a gradually changing sound made in passing
from one position of the speech-organs to another. 3 a gliding
dance or dance-step. 4 a flight in a glider. 5 Cricket =
GLANCE n. 4. Ьglide clip Austral. a paper fastener made of
bent wire. glide path an aircraft's line of descent to land,
esp. as indicated by ground radar. ЬЬglidingly adv. [OE glidan
glider n. 1 a an aircraft that flies without an engine. b a glider
pilot. 2 a person or thing that glides.
glim n. 1 a faint light. 2 archaic sl. a candle; a lantern. [17th
c.: perh. abbr. of GLIMMER or GLIMPSE]
glimmer v. & n. --v.intr. shine faintly or intermittently. --n. 1 a
feeble or wavering light. 2 (usu. foll. by of) a faint gleam
(of hope, understanding, etc.). 3 a glimpse. ЬЬglimmeringly
adv. [ME prob. f. Scand. f. WG: see GLEAM]
n. 1 = GLIMMER n. 2 an act of glimmering.
glimpse n. & v. --n. (often foll. by of) 1 a momentary or partial view
(caught a glimpse of her). 2 a faint and transient appearance
(glimpses of the truth). --v. 1 tr. see faintly or partly
(glimpsed his face in the crowd). 2 intr. (often foll. by at)
cast a passing glance. 3 intr. a shine faintly or
intermittently. b poet. appear faintly; dawn. [ME glimse
corresp. to MHG glimsen f. WG (as GLIMMER)]
glint v. & n. --v.intr. & tr. flash or cause to flash; glitter;
sparkle; reflect (eyes glinted with amusement; the sword glinted
fire). --n. a brief flash of light; a sparkle. [alt. of ME
glent, prob. of Scand. orig.]
glissade n. & v. --n. 1 an act of sliding down a steep slope of snow or
ice, usu. on the feet with the support of an ice-axe etc. 2 a
gliding step in ballet. --v.intr. perform a glissade. [F f.
glisser slip, slide]
glissando n. (pl. glissandi or -os) Mus. a continuous slide of adjacent
notes upwards or downwards. [It. f. F glissant sliding (as
gliss‚ n. (also pas gliss‚) Ballet a sliding step in which the flat of
the foot is often used. [F, past part. of glisser: see
glisten v. & n. --v.intr. shine, esp. like a wet object, snow, etc.;
glitter. --n. a glitter; a sparkle. [OE glisnian f. glisian
glister v. & n. archaic --v.intr. sparkle; glitter. --n. a sparkle; a
gleam. [ME f. MLG glistern, MDu glisteren, rel. to GLISTEN]
glitch n. colloq. a sudden irregularity or malfunction (of equipment
etc.). [20th c.: orig. unkn.]
glitter v. & n. --v.intr. 1 shine, esp. with a bright reflected light;
sparkle. 2 (usu. foll. by with) a be showy or splendid
(glittered with diamonds). b be ostentatious or flashily
brilliant (glittering rhetoric). --n. 1 a gleam; a sparkle. 2
showiness; splendour. 3 tiny pieces of sparkling material as on
Christmas-tree decorations. ЬЬglitteringly adv. glittery adj.
[ME f. ON glitra f. Gmc]
n.pl. sl. the fashionable set of literary or show-business
people. [GLITTER + LITERATI]
glitz n. sl. extravagant but superficial display; show-business
glamour. [back-form. f. GLITZY]
glitzy adj. (glitzier, glitziest) sl. extravagant, ostentatious;
tawdry, gaudy. ЬЬglitzily adv. glitziness n. [GLITTER, after
RITZY: cf. G glitzerig glittering]
gloaming n. poet. twilight; dusk. [OE glomung f. glom twilight, rel.
gloat v. & n. --v.intr. (often foll. by on, upon, over) consider or
contemplate with lust, greed, malice, triumph, etc. (gloated
over his collection). --n. 1 the act of gloating. 2 a look or
expression of triumphant satisfaction. ЬЬgloater n. gloatingly
adv. [16th c.: orig. unkn., but perh. rel. to ON glotta grin,
MHG glotzen stare]
glob n. a mass or lump of semi-liquid substance, e.g. mud. [20th
c.: perh. f. BLOB and GOB(1)]
global adj. 1 worldwide (global conflict). 2 relating to or embracing
a group of items etc.; total. Ьglobal warming the increase in
temperature of the earth's atmosphere caused by the greenhouse
effect. ЬЬglobally adv. [F (as GLOBE)]
globe n. & v. --n. 1 a (prec. by the) the planet earth. b a planet,
star, or sun. c any spherical body; a ball. 2 a spherical
representation of the earth or of the constellations with a map
on the surface. 3 a golden sphere as an emblem of sovereignty;
an orb. 4 any spherical glass vessel, esp. a fish bowl, a lamp,
etc. 5 the eyeball. --v.tr. & intr. make (usu. in passive) or
become globular. Ьglobe artichoke the partly edible head of the
artichoke plant. globe-fish any tropical fish of the family
Tetraodontidae, able to inflate itself into a spherical form:
also called PUFFER-FISH. globe-flower any ranunculaceous plant
of the genus Trollius with globular usu. yellow flowers. globe
lightning = ball lightning (see BALL(1)). globe-trotter a
person who travels widely. globe-trotting such travel.
ЬЬglobelike adj. globoid adj. & n. globose adj. [F globe or L
n. any planktonic protozoan of the genus Globigerina, living
near the surface of the sea. [mod.L f. L globus globe + -ger
carrying + -INA]
globular adj. 1 globe-shaped, spherical. 2 composed of globules.
ЬЬglobularity n. globularly adv.
globule n. 1 a small globe or round particle; a drop. 2 a pill.
ЬЬglobulous adj. [F globule or L globulus (as GLOBE)]
globulin n. any of a group of proteins found in plant and animal tissues
and esp. responsible for the transport of molecules etc.
n. a musical instrument consisting of a series of bells or
metal bars or tubes suspended or mounted in a frame and struck
by hammers. [G, = bell-play]
glom v. US sl. (glommed, glomming) 1 tr. steal; grab. 2 intr.
(usu. foll. by on to) steal; grab. [var. of Sc. glaum (18th
c., of unkn. orig.)]
glomerate adj. Bot. & Anat. compactly clustered. [L glomeratus past
part. of glomerare f. glomus -eris ball]
glomerule n. a clustered flower-head.
n. (pl. glomeruli) a cluster of small organisms, tissues, or
blood vessels, esp. of the capillaries of the kidney.
ЬЬglomerular adj. [mod.L, dimin. of L glomus -eris ball]
gloom n. & v. --n. 1 darkness; obscurity. 2 melancholy;
despondency. 3 poet. a dark place. --v. 1 intr. be gloomy or
melancholy; frown. 2 intr. (of the sky etc.) be dull or
threatening; lour. 3 intr. appear darkly or obscurely. 4 tr.
cover with gloom; make dark or dismal. [ME gloum(b)e, of unkn.
orig.: cf. GLUM]
glop n. US sl. a liquid or sticky mess, esp. inedible food.
[imit.: cf. obs. glop swallow greedily]
Gloria n. 1 any of various doxologies beginning with Gloria, esp. the
hymn beginning with Gloria in excelsis Deo (Glory be to God in
the highest). 2 an aureole. [L, = glory]
glorify v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 exalt to heavenly glory; make glorious. 2
transform into something more splendid. 3 extol; praise. 4 (as
glorified adj.) seeming or pretending to be more splendid than
in reality (just a glorified office boy). ЬЬglorification n.
glorifier n. [ME f. OF glorifier f. eccl.L glorificare f. LL
glorificus f. L gloria glory]
gloriole n. an aureole; a halo. [F f. L gloriola dimin. of gloria
glorious adj. 1 possessing glory; illustrious. 2 conferring glory;
honourable. 3 colloq. splendid; magnificent; delightful (a
glorious day; glorious fun). 4 iron. intense; unmitigated (a
glorious muddle). 5 colloq. happily intoxicated. ЬЬgloriously
adv. gloriousness n. [ME f. AF glorious, OF glorios, -eus f. L
gloriosus (as GLORY)]
glory n. & v. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 high renown or fame; honour. 2
adoring praise and thanksgiving (Glory to the Lord). 3
resplendent majesty or magnificence; great beauty (the glory of
Versailles; the glory of the rose). 4 a thing that brings
renown or praise; a distinction. 5 the bliss and splendour of
heaven. 6 colloq. a state of exaltation, prosperity, happiness,
etc. (is in his glory playing with his trains). 7 an aureole, a
halo. 8 an anthelion. --v.intr. (often foll. by in, or to +
infin.) pride oneself; exult (glory in their skill). Ьglory be!
1 a devout ejaculation. 2 colloq. an exclamation of surprise or
delight. glory-box Austral. & NZ a box for women's clothes
etc., stored in preparation for marriage. glory-hole 1 colloq.
an untidy room, drawer, or receptacle. 2 US an open quarry.
glory-of-the-snow = CHIONODOXA. go to glory sl. die; be
destroyed. [ME f. AF & OF glorie f. L gloria]
Glos. abbr. Gloucestershire.
gloss(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a surface shine or lustre. b an instance of
this; a smooth finish. 2 a deceptively attractive appearance.
b an instance of this. 3 (in full gloss paint) paint formulated
to give a hard glossy finish (cf. MATT). --v.tr. make glossy.
Ьgloss over 1 seek to conceal beneath a false appearance. 2
conceal or evade by mentioning briefly or misleadingly.
ЬЬglosser n. [16th c.: orig. unkn.]
gloss(2) n. & v. --n. 1 a an explanatory word or phrase inserted
between the lines or in the margin of a text. b a comment,
explanation, interpretation, or paraphrase. 2 a
misrepresentation of another's words. 3 a a glossary. b an
interlinear translation or annotation. --v. 1 tr. a add a
gloss or glosses to (a text, word, etc.). b read a different
sense into; explain away. 2 intr. (often foll. by on) make
(esp. unfavourable) comments. 3 intr. write or introduce
glosses. ЬЬglosser n. [alt. of GLOZE after med.L glossa]
glossal adj. Anat. of the tongue; lingual. [Gk glossa tongue]
glossary n. (pl. -ies) 1 (also gloss) an alphabetical list of terms or
words found in or relating to a specific subject or text, esp.
dialect, with explanations; a brief dictionary. 2 a collection
of glosses. ЬЬglossarial adj. glossarist n. [L glossarium f.
glossator n. 1 a writer of glosses. 2 hist. a commentator on, or
interpreter of, medieval law-texts. [ME f. med.L f. glossare
f. glossa GLOSS(2)]
glosseme n. any meaningful feature of a language that cannot be analysed
into smaller meaningful units. [Gk glossema f. glossa
glossitis n. inflammation of the tongue. [Gk glossa tongue + -ITIS]
n. a writer of glosses or commentaries. [GLOSS(2) + -GRAPHER]
n. = gift of tongues (see TONGUE). [mod.L f. Gk glossa tongue
+ -lalia speaking]
adj. of the tongue and larynx. [Gk glossa tongue + LARYNGEAL]
glossy adj. & n. --adj. (glossier, glossiest) 1 having a shine;
smooth. 2 (of paper etc.) smooth and shiny. 3 (of a magazine
etc.) printed on such paper. --n. (pl. -ies) colloq. 1 a
glossy magazine. 2 a photograph with a glossy surface.
ЬЬglossily adv. glossiness n.
glottal adj. of or produced by the glottis. Ьglottal stop a sound
produced by the sudden opening or shutting of the glottis.
glottis n. the space at the upper end of the windpipe and between the
vocal cords, affecting voice modulation through expansion or
contraction. ЬЬglottic adj. [mod.L f. Gk glottis f. glotta
var. of glossa tongue]
n. (usu. double Gloucester, orig. a richer kind) a kind of hard
cheese orig. made in Gloucestershire in S. England.
glove n. & v. --n. 1 a covering for the hand, of wool, leather,
cotton, etc., worn esp. for protection against cold or dirt, and
usu. having separate fingers. 2 a padded protective glove,
esp.: a a boxing glove. b a wicket-keeper's glove. --v.tr.
cover or provide with a glove or gloves. Ьfit like a glove fit
exactly. glove box 1 a box for gloves. 2 a closed chamber with
sealed-in gloves for handling radioactive material etc. 3 =
glove compartment. glove compartment a recess for small
articles in the dashboard of a motor vehicle. glove puppet a
small cloth puppet fitted on the hand and worked by the fingers.
throw down (or take up) the glove issue (or accept) a challenge.
with the gloves off mercilessly; unfairly; with no compunction.
ЬЬgloveless adj. glover n. [OE glof, corresp. to ON glўfi,
perh. f. Gmc]
glow v. & n. --v.intr. 1 a throw out light and heat without flame;
be incandescent. b shine like something heated in this way. 2
(of the cheeks) redden, esp. from cold or exercise. 3 (often
foll. by with) a (of the body) be heated, esp. from exertion;
sweat. b express or experience strong emotion (glowed with
pride; glowing with indignation). 4 showing a warm colour (the
painting glows with warmth). 5 (as glowing adj.) expressing
pride or satisfaction (a glowing report). --n. 1 a glowing
state. 2 a bright warm colour, esp. the red of cheeks. 3
ardour; passion. 4 a feeling induced by good health, exercise,
etc.; well-being. Ьglow discharge a luminous sparkless
electrical discharge from a pointed conductor in a gas at low
pressure. glow-worm any beetle of the genus Lampyris whose
wingless female emits light from the end of the abdomen. in a
glow colloq. hot or flushed; sweating. ЬЬglowingly adv. [OE
glowan f. Gmc]
glower v. & n. --v.intr. (often foll. by at) stare or scowl, esp.
angrily. --n. a glowering look. ЬЬgloweringly adv. [orig.
uncert.: perh. Sc. var. of ME glore f. LG or Scand., or f. obs.
(ME) glow stare + -ER(4)]
gloxinia n. any tropical plant of the genus Gloxinia, native to S.
America, with large bell flowers of various colours. [mod.L f.
B. P. Gloxin, 18th-c. Ger. botanist]
gloze v. 1 tr. (also gloze over) explain away; extenuate; palliate.
2 intr. archaic a (usu. foll. by on, upon) comment. b talk
speciously; fawn. [ME f. OF gloser f. glose f. med.L glosa,
gloza f. L glossa tongue, GLOSS(2)]
glucagon n. a polypeptide hormone formed in the pancreas, which aids the
breakdown of glycogen. [Gk glukus sweet + agon leading]
glucose n. 1 a simple sugar containing six carbon atoms, found mainly
in its dextrorotatory form (see DEXTROSE), which is an important
energy source in living organisms and obtainable from some
carbohydrates by hydrolysis. °Chem. formula: CHO. 2
a syrup containing glucose sugars from the incomplete hydrolysis
of starch. [F f. Gk gleukos sweet wine, rel. to glukus sweet]
glucoside n. a compound giving glucose and other products upon
hydrolysis. ЬЬglucosidic adj.
glue n. & v. --n. an adhesive substance used for sticking objects or
materials together. --v.tr. (glues, glued, gluing or glueing)
1 fasten or join with glue. 2 keep or put very close (an eye
glued to the keyhole). Ьglue-pot 1 a pot with an outer vessel
holding water to heat glue. 2 colloq. an area of sticky mud
etc. glue-sniffer a person who inhales the fumes from adhesives
as a drug. ЬЬgluelike adj. gluer n. gluey adj. (gluier,
gluiest). glueyness n. [ME f. OF glu (n.), gluer (v.), f. LL
glus glutis f. L gluten]
glum adj. (glummer, glummest) looking or feeling dejected; sullen;
displeased. ЬЬglumly adv. glumness n. [rel. to dial. glum
(v.) frown, var. of gloume GLOOM v.]
glume n. 1 a membranous bract surrounding the spikelet of grasses or
the florets of sedges. 2 the husk of grain. ЬЬglumaceous adj.
glumose adj. [L gluma husk]
gluon n. Physics any of a group of elementary particles that are
thought to bind quarks together. [GLUE + -ON]
glut v. & n. --v.tr. (glutted, glutting) 1 feed (a person, one's
stomach, etc.) or indulge (an appetite, a desire, etc.) to the
full; satiate; cloy. 2 fill to excess; choke up. 3 Econ.
overstock (a market) with goods. --n. 1 Econ. supply exceeding
demand; a surfeit (a glut in the market). 2 full indulgence;
one's fill. [ME prob. f. OF gloutir swallow f. L gluttire: cf.
glutamate n. any salt or ester of glutamic acid, esp. a sodium salt used
to enhance the flavour of food.
n. a naturally occurring amino acid, a constituent of many
proteins. [GLUTEN + AMINE + -IC]
gluten n. 1 a mixture of proteins present in cereal grains. 2 archaic
a sticky substance. [F f. L gluten glutinis glue]
gluteus n. (pl. glutei) any of the three muscles in each buttock.
ЬЬgluteal adj. [mod.L f. Gk gloutos buttock]
glutinous adj. sticky; like glue. ЬЬglutinously adv. glutinousness n.
[F glutineux or L glutinosus (as GLUTEN)]
glutton n. 1 an excessively greedy eater. 2 (often foll. by for)
colloq. a person insatiably eager (a glutton for work). 3 a
voracious animal Gulo gulo, of the weasel family. Also called
WOLVERINE. Ьa glutton for punishment a person eager to take on
hard or unpleasant tasks. ЬЬgluttonize v.intr. (also -ise).
gluttonous adj. gluttonously adv. [ME f. OF gluton, gloton f.
L glutto -onis f. gluttire swallow, gluttus greedy]
gluttony n. habitual greed or excess in eating. [OF glutonie (as
glyceride n. any fatty-acid ester of glycerol.
glycerine n. (US glycerin) = GLYCEROL. [F glycerin f. Gk glukeros sweet]
glycerol n. a colourless sweet viscous liquid formed as a by-product in
the manufacture of soap, used as an emollient and laxative, in
explosives, etc. °Chem. formula: CHO. Also called
GLYCERINE. [GLYCERINE + -OL(1)]
glycine n. the simplest naturally occurring amino acid, a general
constituent of proteins. [G Glycin f. Gk glukus sweet]
glyco- comb. form sugar. [Gk glukus sweet]
glycogen n. a polysaccharide serving as a store of carbohydrates, esp.
in animal tissues, and yielding glucose on hydrolysis.
n. Biochem. the formation of glycogen from sugar.
glycol n. a diol, esp. ethylene glycol. ЬЬglycolic adj. glycollic
adj. [GLYCERINE + -OL(1), orig. as being intermediate between
glycerine and alcohol]
n. Biochem. the breakdown of glucose by enzymes in most living
organisms to release energy and pyruvic acid.
n. any of a group of compounds consisting of a protein combined
with a carbohydrate.
glycoside n. any compound giving sugar and other products on hydrolysis.
ЬЬglycosidic adj. [GLYCO-, after GLUCOSIDE]
n. a condition characterized by an excess of sugar in the
urine, associated with diabetes, kidney disease, etc.
ЬЬglycosuric adj. [F glycose glucose + -URIA]
glyph n. 1 a sculptured character or symbol. 2 a vertical groove,
esp. that on a Greek frieze. ЬЬglyphic adj. [F glyphe f. Gk
gluphe carving f. glupho carve]
glyptal n. an alkyd resin, esp. one formed from glycerine and phthalic
acid or anhydride. [perh. f. glycerol + ph th alic]
glyptic adj. of or concerning carving, esp. on precious stones. [F
glyptique or Gk gluptikos f. gluptes carver f. glupho carve]
n. any extinct armadillo-like edentate animal of the genus
Glyptodon native to S. America, having fluted teeth and a body
covered in a hard thick bony shell. [mod.L f. Gk gluptos carved
+ odous odontos tooth]
n. the art or scientific study of gem-engraving. [Gk gluptos
carved + -GRAPHY]
gnamma n. (also namma) Austral. a natural hole in a rock, containing
water; a waterhole. [Aboriginal]
gnarled adj. (also gnarly) (of a tree, hands, etc.) knobbly, twisted,
rugged. [var. of knarled, rel. to KNURL]
gnash v. & n. --v. 1 tr. grind (the teeth). 2 intr. (of the teeth)
strike together; grind. --n. an act of grinding the teeth.
[var. of obs. gnacche or gnast, rel. to ON gnastan a gnashing
gnat n. 1 any small two-winged biting fly of the genus Culex, esp.
C. pipiens. 2 an insignificant annoyance. 3 a tiny thing. [OE
gnathic adj. of or relating to the jaws. [Gk gnathos jaw]
gnaw v. (past part. gnawed or gnawn) 1 a tr. (usu. foll. by away,
off, in two, etc.) bite persistently; wear away by biting. b
intr. (often foll. by at, into) bite, nibble. 2 a intr. (often
foll. by at, into) (of a destructive agent, pain, fear, etc.)
corrode; waste away; consume; torture. b tr. corrode, consume,
torture, etc. with pain, fear, etc. (was gnawed by doubt). 3
tr. (as gnawing adj.) persistent; worrying. ЬЬgnawingly adv.
[OE gnagen, ult. imit.]
gneiss n. a usu. coarse-grained metamorphic rock foliated by mineral
layers, principally of feldspar, quartz, and ferromagnesian
minerals. ЬЬgneissic adj. gneissoid adj. gneissose adj. [G]
gnocchi n.pl. an Italian dish of small dumplings usu. made from potato,
semolina flour, etc., or from spinach and cheese. [It., pl. of
gnocco f. nocchio knot in wood]
gnome(1) n. 1 a a dwarfish legendary creature supposed to guard the
earth's treasures underground; a goblin. b a figure of a gnome,
esp. as a garden ornament. 2 (esp. in pl.) colloq. a person
with sinister influence, esp. financial (gnomes of Zurich).
ЬЬgnomish adj. [F f. mod.L gnomus (word invented by
gnome(2) n. a maxim; an aphorism. [Gk gnome opinion f. gignosko know]
gnomic adj. 1 of, consisting of, or using gnomes or aphorisms;
sententious (see GNOME(2)). 2 Gram. (of a tense) used without
the implication of time to express a general truth, e.g. men
were deceivers ever. ЬЬgnomically adv. [Gk gnomikos (as
gnomon n. 1 the rod or pin etc. on a sundial that shows the time by
the position of its shadow. 2 Geom. the part of a parallelogram
left when a similar parallelogram has been taken from its
corner. 3 Astron. a column etc. used in observing the sun's
meridian altitude. ЬЬgnomonic adj. [F or L gnomon f. Gk gnomon
indicator etc. f. gignosko know]
gnosis n. knowledge of spiritual mysteries. [Gk gnosis knowledge (as
gnostic adj. & n. --adj. 1 relating to knowledge, esp. esoteric
mystical knowledge. 2 (Gnostic) concerning the Gnostics;
occult; mystic. --n. (Gnostic) (usu. in pl.) a Christian
heretic of the 1st-3rd c. claiming gnosis. ЬЬGnosticism n.
gnosticize v.tr. & intr. [eccl.L gnosticus f. Gk gnostikos (as
GNP abbr. gross national product.
Gnr. abbr. Brit. Gunner.
gns. abbr. Brit. hist. guineas.
gnu n. any antelope of the genus Connochaetes, native to S. Africa,
with a large erect head and brown stripes on the neck and
shoulders. Also called WILDEBEEST. [Bushman nqu, prob. through
go(1) v., n., & adj. --v. (3rd sing. present goes; past went; past
part. gone) 1 intr. a start moving or be moving from one place
or point in time to another; travel, proceed. b (foll. by to +
infin., or and + verb) proceed in order to (went to find him; go
and buy some bread). c (foll. by and + verb) colloq. expressing
annoyance (you went and told him; they've gone and broken it;
she went and won). 2 intr. (foll. by verbal noun) make a
special trip for; participate in; proceed to do (went skiing;
then went shopping; often goes running). 3 intr. lie or extend
in a certain direction (the road goes to London). 4 intr.
leave; depart (they had to go). 5 intr. move, act, work, etc.
(the clock doesn't go; his brain is going all the time). 6
intr. a make a specified movement (go like this with your
foot). b make a sound (often of a specified kind) (the gun went
bang; the door bell went). c colloq. say (so he goes to me 'Why
didn't you like it?'). d (of an animal) make (its
characteristic cry) (the cow went 'moo'). 7 intr. be in a
specified state (go hungry; went in fear of his life). 8 intr.
a pass into a specified condition (gone bad; went mad; went to
sleep). b colloq. die. c proceed or escape in a specified
condition (the poet went unrecognized; the crime went
unnoticed). 9 intr. (of time or distance) pass, elapse; be
traversed (ten days to go before Easter; the last mile went
quickly). 10 intr. a (of a document, verse, song, etc.) have a
specified content or wording; run (the tune goes like this). b
be current or accepted (so the story goes). c be suitable; fit;
match (the shoes don't go with the hat). d be regularly kept or
put (the forks go here). e find room; fit (this won't go into
the cupboard). 11 intr. a turn out, proceed; take a course or
view (things went well; Liverpool went Labour). b be successful
(make the party go; went like a bomb). c progress (we've still
a long way to go). 12 intr. a be sold (went for њ1; went
cheap). b (of money) be spent (њ200 went on a new jacket). 13
intr. a be relinquished, dismissed, or abolished (the car will
have to go). b fail, decline; give way, collapse (his sight is
going; the bulb has gone). 14 intr. be acceptable or permitted;
be accepted without question (anything goes; what I say goes).
15 intr. (often foll. by by, with, on, upon) be guided by; judge
or act on or in harmony with (have nothing to go on; a good rule
to go by). 16 intr. attend or visit or travel to regularly
(goes to church; goes to school; this train goes to Bristol).
17 intr. (foll. by pres. part.) colloq. proceed (often
foolishly) to do (went running to the police; don't go making
him angry). 18 intr. act or proceed to a certain point (will go
so far and no further; went as high as њ100). 19 intr. (of a
number) be capable of being contained in another (6 into 12 goes
twice; 6 into 5 won't go). 20 tr. Cards bid; declare (go nap;
has gone two spades). 21 intr. (usu. foll. by to) be allotted
or awarded; pass (first prize went to the girl; the job went to
his rival). 22 intr. (foll. by to, towards) amount to;
contribute to (12 inches go to make a foot; this will go towards
your holiday). 23 intr. (in imper.) begin motion (a starter's
order in a race) (ready, steady, go!). 24 intr. (usu. foll. by
to) refer or appeal (go to him for help). 25 intr. (often foll.
by on) take up a specified profession (went on the stage; gone
soldiering; went to sea). 26 intr. (usu. foll. by by, under) be
known or called (goes by the name of Droopy). 27 tr. colloq.
proceed to (go jump in the lake). 28 intr. (foll. by for) apply
to; have relevance for (that goes for me too). --n. (pl.
goes) 1 the act or an instance of going. 2 mettle; spirit;
dash; animation (she has a lot of go in her). 3 vigorous
activity (it's all go). 4 colloq. a success (made a go of it).
5 colloq. a turn; an attempt (I'll have a go; it's my go; all in
one go). 6 colloq. a state of affairs (a rum go). 7 colloq. an
attack of illness (a bad go of flu). 8 colloq. a quantity of
liquor, food, etc. served at one time. --adj. colloq. 1
functioning properly (all systems are go). 2 fashionable;
progressive. Ьall the go colloq. in fashion. as (or so) far
as it goes an expression of caution against taking a statement
too positively (the work is good as far as it goes). as (a
person or thing) goes as the average is (a good actor as actors
go). from the word go colloq. from the very beginning. give
it a go colloq. make an effort to succeed. go about 1 busy
oneself with; set to work at. 2 be socially active. 3 (foll.
by pres. part.) make a habit of doing (goes about telling lies).
4 Naut. change to an opposite tack. go ahead proceed without
hesitation. go-ahead n. permission to proceed. --adj.
enterprising. go along with agree to; take the same view as.
go around 1 (foll. by with) be regularly in the company of. 2 =
go about 3. go-as-you-please untrammelled; free. go at take in
hand energetically; attack. go away depart, esp. from home for
a holiday etc. go back on fail to keep (one's word, promise,
etc.). go bail see BAIL(1). go begging see BEG. go-between an
intermediary; a negotiator. go by 1 pass. 2 be dependent on;
be guided by. go-by colloq. a snub; a slight (gave it the
go-by). go by default see DEFAULT. go-cart 1 a handcart; a
pushchair. 2 = go-kart. 3 archaic a baby-walker. go-devil US
an instrument used to clean the inside of pipes etc. go down 1
a (of an amount) become less (the coffee has gone down a lot).
b subside (the flood went down). c decrease in price; lose
value. 2 a (of a ship) sink. b (of the sun) set. 3 (usu.
foll. by to) be continued to a specified point. 4 deteriorate;
fail; (of a computer network etc.) cease to function. 5 be
recorded in writing. 6 be swallowed. 7 (often foll. by with)
find acceptance. 8 Brit. colloq. leave university. 9 colloq.
be sent to prison (went down for ten years). 10 (often foll. by
before) fall (before a conqueror). go down with Brit. begin to
suffer from (a disease). go Dutch see DUTCH. go far be very
successful. go for 1 go to fetch. 2 be accounted as or achieve
(went for nothing). 3 prefer; choose (that's the one I go for).
4 colloq. strive to attain (go for it!). 5 colloq. attack (the
dog went for him). go-getter colloq. an aggressively
enterprising person, esp. a businessman. go-go colloq. 1 (of a
dancer, music, etc.) in modern style, lively, and rhythmic. 2
unrestrained; energetic. 3 (of investment) speculative. go
great guns see GUN. go halves (or shares) (often foll. by with)
share equally. go in 1 enter a room, house, etc. 2 (usu. foll.
by for) enter as a competitor. 3 Cricket take or begin an
innings. 4 (of the sun etc.) become obscured by cloud. go in
for take as one's object, style, pursuit, principle, etc.
going!, gone! an auctioneer's announcement that bidding is
closing or closed. go into 1 enter (a profession, Parliament,
etc.). 2 take part in; be a part of. 3 investigate. 4 allow
oneself to pass into (hysterics etc.). 5 dress oneself in
(mourning etc.). 6 frequent (society). go it colloq. 1 act
vigorously, furiously, etc. 2 indulge in dissipation. go it
alone see ALONE. go it strong colloq. go to great lengths;
exaggerate. go-kart a miniature racing car with a skeleton
body. go a long way 1 (often foll. by towards) have a great
effect. 2 (of food, money, etc.) last a long time, buy much. 3
= go far. go off 1 explode. 2 leave the stage. 3 gradually
cease to be felt. 4 (esp. of foodstuffs) deteriorate;
decompose. 5 go to sleep; become unconscious. 6 begin. 7 die.
8 be got rid of by sale etc. 9 Brit. colloq. begin to dislike
(I've gone off him). go-off colloq. a start (at the first
go-off). go off at Austral. & NZ sl. reprimand, scold. go off
well (or badly etc.) (of an enterprise etc.) be received or
accomplished well (or badly etc.). go on 1 (often foll. by
pres. part.) continue, persevere (decided to go on with it; went
on trying; unable to go on). 2 colloq. a talk at great length.
b (foll. by at) admonish (went on and on at him). 3 (foll. by
to + infin.) proceed (went on to become a star). 4 happen. 5
conduct oneself (shameful, the way they went on). 6 Theatr.
appear on stage. 7 Cricket begin bowling. 8 (of a garment) be
large enough for its wearer. 9 take one's turn to do something.
10 (also go upon) colloq. use as evidence (police don't have
anything to go on). 11 colloq. (esp. in neg.) a concern oneself
about. b care for (don't go much on red hair). 12 become
chargeable to (the parish etc.). go on! colloq. an expression
of encouragement or disbelief. go out 1 leave a room, house,
etc. 2 be broadcast. 3 be extinguished. 4 (often foll. by
with) be courting. 5 (of a government) leave office. 6 cease
to be fashionable. 7 (usu. foll. by to) depart, esp. to a
colony etc. 8 colloq. lose consciousness. 9 (of workers)
strike. 10 (usu. foll. by to) (of the heart etc.) expand with
sympathy etc. towards (my heart goes out to them). 11 Golf play
the first nine holes in a round. 12 Cards be the first to
dispose of one's hand. 13 (of a tide) turn to low tide. go
over 1 inspect the details of; rehearse; retouch. 2 (often
foll. by to) change one's allegiance or religion. 3 (of a play
etc.) be successful (went over well in Dundee). go round 1
spin, revolve. 2 be long enough to encompass. 3 (of food etc.)
suffice for everybody. 4 (usu. foll. by to) visit informally.
5 = go around. go slow work slowly, as a form of industrial
action. go-slow Brit. such industrial action. go through 1 be
dealt with or completed. 2 discuss in detail; scrutinize in
sequence. 3 perform (a ceremony, a recitation, etc.). 4
undergo. 5 colloq. use up; spend (money etc.). 6 make holes
in. 7 (of a book) be successively published (in so many
editions). 8 Austral. sl. abscond. go through with not leave
unfinished; complete. go to! archaic an exclamation of
disbelief, impatience, admonition, etc. go to the bar become a
barrister. go to blazes (or hell or Jericho etc.) sl. an
exclamation of dismissal, contempt, etc. go to the country see
COUNTRY. go together 1 match; fit. 2 be courting. go to it!
colloq. begin work! go-to-meeting (of a hat, clothes, etc.)
suitable for going to church in. go to show (or prove) serve to
demonstrate (or prove). go under sink; fail; succumb. go up 1
increase in price. 2 Brit. colloq. enter university. 3 be
consumed (in flames etc.); explode. go well (or ill etc.)
(often foll. by with) turn out well, (or ill etc.). go with 1
be harmonious with; match. 2 agree to; take the same view as.
3 a be a pair with. b be courting. 4 follow the drift of. go
without manage without; forgo (also absol. : we shall just have
to go without). go with the tide (or times) do as others do;
follow the drift. have a go at 1 attack, criticize. 2 attempt,
try. on the go colloq. 1 in constant motion. 2 constantly
working. to go US (of refreshments etc.) to be eaten or drunk
off the premises. who goes there? a sentry's challenge. [OE
gan f. Gmc: went orig. past of WEND]
go(2) n. a Japanese board game of territorial possession and capture.
goad n. & v. --n. 1 a spiked stick used for urging cattle forward.
2 anything that torments, incites, or stimulates. --v.tr. 1
urge on with a goad. 2 (usu. foll. by on, into) irritate;
stimulate (goaded him into retaliating; goaded me on to win).
[OE gad, rel. to Lombard gaida arrowhead f. Gmc]
goal n. 1 the object of a person's ambition or effort; a
destination; an aim (fame is his goal; London was our goal). 2
a Football a pair of posts with a crossbar between which the
ball has to be sent to score. b a cage or basket used similarly
in other games. c a point won (scored 3 goals). 3 a point
marking the end of a race. Ьgoal average Football the ratio of
the numbers of goals scored for and against a team in a series
of matches. goal difference Football the difference of goals
scored for and against. goal-kick 1 Assoc. Football a kick by
the defending side after attackers send the ball over the
goal-line without scoring. 2 Rugby Football an attempt to kick
a goal. goal-line Football a line between each pair of
goalposts, extended to form the end-boundary of a field of play
(cf. touch-line). goal-minder (or -tender) US a goalkeeper at
ice hockey. goal-mouth Football the space between or near the
goalposts. in goal in the position of goalkeeper. ЬЬgoalless
adj. [16th c.: orig. unkn.: perh. identical with ME gol
goalball n. a team ball game for blind and visually handicapped players.
goalie n. colloq. = GOALKEEPER.
n. a player stationed to protect the goal in various sports.
goalpost n. either of the two upright posts of a goal. Ьmove the
goalposts alter the basis or scope of a procedure during its
course, so as to fit adverse circumstances encountered.
goanna n. Austral. a monitor lizard. [corrupt. of IGUANA]
goat n. 1 a a hardy lively frisky short-haired domesticated mammal,
Capra aegagrus, having horns and (in the male) a beard, and kept
for its milk and meat. b either of two similar mammals, the
mountain goat and the Spanish goat. 2 any other mammal of the
genus Capra, including the ibex. 3 a lecherous man. 4 colloq.
a foolish person. 5 (the Goat) the zodiacal sign or
constellation Capricorn. 6 US a scapegoat. Ьget a person's
goat colloq. irritate a person. goat-antelope any
antelope-like member of the goat family, including the chamois
and goral. goat-god Pan. goat moth any of various large moths
of the family Cossidae. goat's-beard 1 a meadow plant,
Tragopogon pratensis. 2 a herbaceous plant, Aruncus dioicus,
with long plumes of white flowers. ЬЬgoatish adj. goaty adj.
[OE gat she-goat f. Gmc]
goatee n. a small pointed beard like that of a goat.
goatherd n. a person who tends goats.
goatskin n. 1 the skin of a goat. 2 a garment or bottle made out of
n. = NIGHTJAR.
gob(1) n. esp. Brit. sl. the mouth. Ьgob-stopper a very large hard
sweet. [perh. f. Gael. & Ir., = beak, mouth]
gob(2) n. & v. Brit. sl. --n. a clot of slimy matter. --v.intr.
(gobbed, gobbing) spit. [ME f. OF go(u)be mouthful]
gob(3) n. sl. a US sailor. [20th c.: cf. GOBBY]
gobbet n. 1 a piece or lump of raw meat, flesh, food, etc. 2 an
extract from a text, esp. one set for translation or comment in
an examination. [ME f. OF gobet (as GOB(2))]
gobble(1) v.tr. & intr. eat hurriedly and noisily. ЬЬgobbler n. [prob.
dial. f. GOB(2)]
gobble(2) v.intr. 1 (of a turkeycock) make a characteristic swallowing
sound in the throat. 2 make such a sound when speaking, esp.
when excited, angry, etc. [imit.: perh. based on GOBBLE(1)]
n. (also gobbledygook) colloq. pompous or unintelligible
jargon. [prob. imit. of a turkeycock]
gobbler n. colloq. a turkeycock.
gobby n. (pl. -ies) sl. 1 a coastguard. 2 an American sailor.
[perh. f. GOB(2) + -Y(1)]
Gobelin n. (in full Gobelin tapestry) 1 a tapestry made at the Gobelins
factory. 2 a tapestry imitating this. [name of a State factory
in Paris, called Gobelins after its orig. owners]
n. (pl. gobemouches pronunc. same) a gullible listener. [F
gobe-mouches, = fly-catcher f. gober swallow + mouches flies]
goblet n. 1 a drinking-vessel with a foot and a stem, usu. of glass.
2 archaic a metal or glass bowl-shaped drinking-cup without
handles, sometimes with a foot and a cover. 3 poet. a
drinking-cup. [ME f. OF gobelet dimin. of gobel cup, of unkn.
goblin n. a mischievous ugly dwarflike creature of folklore. [ME
prob. f. AF gobelin, med.L gobelinus, prob. f. name dimin. of
Gobel, rel. to G Kobold: see COBALT]
goby n. (pl. -ies) any small marine fish of the family Gabiidae,
having ventral fins joined to form a sucker or disc. [L gobius,
cobius f. Gk kobios GUDGEON(1)]
GOC abbr. General Officer Commanding.
god n. 1 a (in many religions) a superhuman being or spirit
worshipped as having power over nature, human fortunes, etc.; a
deity. b an image, idol, animal, or other object worshipped as
divine or symbolizing a god. 2 (God) (in Christian and other
monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe;
the supreme being. 3 a an adored, admired, or influential
person. b something worshipped like a god (makes a god of
success). 4 Theatr. (in pl.) a the gallery. b the people
sitting in it. 5 (God!) an exclamation of surprise, anger, etc.
Ьby God! an exclamation of surprise etc. for God's sake! see
SAKE(1). God-awful sl. extremely unpleasant, nasty, etc. God
bless an expression of good wishes on parting. God bless me (or
my soul) see BLESS. God damn (you, him , etc.) may (you etc.)
be damned. god-damn (or -dam or -damned) sl. accursed,
damnable. god-daughter a female godchild. God the Father, Son,
and Holy Ghost (in the Christian tradition) the Persons of the
Trinity. God-fearing earnestly religious. God forbid (foll. by
that + clause, or absol.) may it not happen! God-forsaken
devoid of all merit; dismal; dreary. God grant (foll. by that +
clause) may it happen. God help (you, him , etc.) an expression
of concern for or sympathy with a person. God knows 1 it is
beyond all knowledge (God knows what will become of him). 2 I
call God to witness that (God knows we tried hard enough).
God's Acre a churchyard. God's book the Bible. God's gift
often iron. a godsend. God's own country an earthly paradise,
esp. the United States. God squad sl. 1 a religious
organization, esp. an evangelical Christian group. 2 its
members. God's truth the absolute truth. God willing if
Providence allows. good God! an exclamation of surprise,
anger, etc. in God's name an appeal for help. my (or oh) God!
an exclamation of surprise, anger, etc. play God assume
importance or superiority. thank God! an exclamation of
pleasure or relief. with God dead and in Heaven. ЬЬgodhood n.
godship n. godward adj. & adv. godwards adv. [OE f. Gmc]
godchild n. a person in relation to a godparent.
goddess n. 1 a female deity. 2 a woman who is adored, esp. for her
godet n. a triangular piece of material inserted in a dress, glove,
godetia n. any plant of the genus Godetia, having showy rose-purple or
reddish flowers. [mod.L f. C. H. Godet, Swiss botanist d.
godfather n. 1 a male godparent. 2 esp. US a person directing an
illegal organization, esp. the Mafia. Ьmy godfathers! euphem.
godhead n. (also Godhead) 1 a the state of being God or a god. b
divine nature. 2 a deity. 3 (the Godhead) God.
godless adj. 1 impious; wicked. 2 without a god. 3 not recognizing
God. ЬЬgodlessness n.
godlike adj. 1 resembling God or a god in some quality, esp. in
physical beauty. 2 befitting or appropriate to a god.
godly adj. religious, pious, devout. ЬЬgodliness n.
godmother n. a female godparent.
godown n. a warehouse in parts of E. Asia, esp. in India. [Port.
gudao f. Malay godong perh. f. Telugu gidangi place where goods
lie f. kidu lie]
godparent n. a person who presents a child at baptism and responds on the
godsend n. an unexpected but welcome event or acquisition.
godson n. a male godchild.
Godspeed int. an expression of good wishes to a person starting a
godwit n. any wading bird of the genus Limosa, with long legs and a
long straight or slightly upcurved bill. [16th c.: of unkn.
n. joc. affected, archaic, or excessively elaborate speech or
writing, esp. regarding gardens. [God wot (in a poem on
gardens, by T. E. Brown 1876)]
goer n. 1 a person or thing that goes (a slow goer). 2 (often in
comb.) a person who attends, esp. regularly (a churchgoer). 3
colloq. a a lively or persevering person. b a sexually
promiscuous person. 4 Austral. colloq. a project likely to be
accepted or to succeed.
goes 3rd sing. present of GO(1).
goest archaic 2nd sing. present of GO(1).
goeth archaic 3rd sing. present of GO(1).
Goethean adj. & n. (also Goethian) --adj. of, relating to, or
characteristic of the German writer J. W. von Goethe (d. 1832).
--n. an admirer or follower of Goethe.
gofer n. esp. US sl. a person who runs errands, esp. on a film set
or in an office; a dogsbody. [go for (see GO(1))]
goffer v. & n. --v.tr. 1 make wavy, flute, or crimp (a lace edge, a
trimming, etc.) with heated irons. 2 (as goffered adj.) (of
the edges of a book) embossed. --n. 1 an iron used for
goffering. 2 ornamental plaiting used for frills etc. [F
gaufrer stamp with a patterned tool f. gaufre honeycomb, rel.
to WAFER, WAFFLE(2)]
goggle v., adj., & n. --v. 1 intr. a (often foll. by at) look with
wide-open eyes. b (of the eyes) be rolled about; protrude. 2
tr. turn (the eyes) sideways or from side to side. --adj. (usu.
attrib.) (of the eyes) protuberant or rolling. --n. 1 (in pl.)
a spectacles for protecting the eyes from glare, dust, water,
etc. b colloq. spectacles. 2 (in pl.) a sheep disease, the
staggers. 3 a goggling expression. Ьgoggle-box Brit. colloq.
a television set. goggle-dive an underwater dive in goggles.
goggle-eyed having staring or protuberant eyes. [ME, prob. from
a base gog (unrecorded) expressive of oscillating movement]
goglet n. Ind. a long-necked usu. porous earthenware vessel used for
keeping water cool. [Port. gorgoleta]
Goidel n. a Celt who speaks Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, or Manx.
ЬЬGoidelic n. [OIr. Gўidel]
going n. & adj. --n. 1 a the act or process of going. b an instance
of this; a departure. 2 a the condition of the ground for
walking, riding, etc. b progress affected by this (found the
going hard). --adj. 1 in or into action (set the clock going).
2 existing, available; to be had (there's cold beef going; one
of the best fellows going). 3 current, prevalent (the going
rate). Ьget going start steadily talking, working, etc. (can't
stop him when he gets going). going away a departure, esp. on a
honeymoon. going concern a thriving business. going for one
colloq. acting in one's favour (he has got a lot going for
him). going on fifteen etc. esp. US approaching one's
fifteenth etc. birthday. going on for approaching (a time, an
age, etc.) (must be going on for 6 years). going-over 1 colloq.
an inspection or overhaul. 2 sl. a thrashing. 3 US colloq. a
scolding. goings-on behaviour, esp. morally suspect. going to
intending or intended to; about to; likely to (it's going to
sink!). heavy going slow or difficult to progress with (found
Proust heavy going). to be going on with to start with; for the
time being. while the going is good while conditions are
favourable. [GO(1): in some senses f. earlier a-going: see
goitre n. (US goiter) Med. a swelling of the neck resulting from
enlargement of the thyroid gland. ЬЬgoitred adj. goitrous adj.
[F, back-form. f. goitreux or f. Prov. goitron, ult. f. L
Golconda n. a mine or source of wealth, advantages, etc. [city near
gold n. & adj. --n. 1 a yellow malleable ductile high density
metallic element resistant to chemical reaction, occurring
naturally in quartz veins and gravel, and precious as a monetary
medium, in jewellery, etc. °Symb.: Au. 2 the colour of gold.
3 a coins or articles made of gold. b money in large sums,
wealth. 4 something precious, beautiful, or brilliant (all that
glitters is not gold). 5 = gold medal. 6 gold used for coating
a surface or as a pigment, gilding. 7 the bull's-eye of an
archery target (usu. gilt). --adj. 1 made wholly or chiefly of
gold. 2 coloured like gold. Ьage of gold = golden age. gold
amalgam an easily-moulded combination of gold with mercury.
gold-beater a person who beats gold out into gold leaf.
gold-beater's skin a membrane used to separate leaves of gold
during beating, or as a covering for slight wounds. gold bloc a
bloc of countries having a gold standard. gold brick sl. 1 a
thing with only a surface appearance of value, a sham or fraud.
2 US a lazy person. gold-digger 1 sl. a woman who wheedles
money out of men. 2 a person who digs for gold. gold-dust 1
gold in fine particles as often found naturally. 2 a plant,
Alyssum saxatile, with many small yellow flowers. gold-field a
district in which gold is found as a mineral. gold foil gold
beaten into a thin sheet. gold leaf gold beaten into a very
thin sheet. gold medal a medal of gold, usu. awarded as first
prize. gold-mine 1 a place where gold is mined. 2 colloq. a
source of wealth. gold of pleasure an annual yellow-flowered
plant, Camelina sativa. gold plate 1 vessels made of gold. 2
material plated with gold. gold-plate v.tr. plate with gold.
gold reserve a reserve of gold coins or bullion held by a
central bank etc. gold-rush a rush to a newly-discovered
gold-field. gold standard a system by which the value of a
currency is defined in terms of gold, for which the currency may
be exchanged. Gold Stick 1 (in the UK) a gilt rod carried on
State occasions by the colonel of the Life Guards or the captain
of the gentlemen-at-arms. 2 the officer carrying this rod.
gold thread 1 a thread of silk etc. with gold wire wound round
it. 2 a bitter plant, Coptis tinfolia. [OE f. Gmc]
goldcrest n. a small bird, Regulus regulus, with a golden crest.
golden adj. 1 a made or consisting of gold (golden sovereign). b
yielding gold. 2 coloured or shining like gold (golden hair).
3 precious; valuable; excellent; important (a golden memory; a
golden opportunity). Ьgolden age 1 a supposed past age when
people were happy and innocent. 2 the period of a nation's
greatest prosperity, literary merit, etc. golden-ager US an old
person. golden balls a pawnbroker's sign. golden boy (or girl)
colloq. a popular or successful person. golden calf wealth as
an object of worship (Exod. 32). golden chain the laburnum.
golden delicious a variety of dessert apple. golden disc an
award given to a performer after the sale of 500,000 copies of a
record. golden eagle a large eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, with
yellow-tipped head-feathers. golden-eye any marine duck of the
genus Bucephala. Golden Fleece (in Greek mythology) a fleece of
gold sought and won by Jason. golden goose a continuing source
of wealth or profit. golden hamster a usu. tawny hamster,
Mesocricetus auratus, kept as a pet or laboratory animal.
golden handshake colloq. a payment given on redundancy or early
retirement. golden hello colloq. a payment made by an employer
to a keenly sought recruit. Golden Horde the Tartar horde that
overran E. Europe in the 13th c. (from the richness of the
leader's tent). Golden Horn the harbour of Istanbul. golden
jubilee 1 the fiftieth anniversary of a sovereign's accession.
2 any other fiftieth anniversary. golden mean 1 the principle
of moderation, as opposed to excess. 2 = golden section.
golden number the number of a year in the Metonic lunar cycle,
used to fix the date of Easter. golden oldie colloq. an old
hit record or film etc. that is still well known and popular.
golden opinions high regard. golden oriole a European oriole,
Oriolus oriolus, of which the male has yellow and black plumage
and the female has mainly green plumage. golden perch Austral.
= CALLOP. golden retriever a retriever with a thick
golden-coloured coat. golden rod any plant of the genus
Solidago with a rodlike stem and a spike of small bright-yellow
flowers. golden rule a basic principle of action, esp. 'do as
you would be done by'. golden section the division of a line so
that the whole is to the greater part as that part is to the
smaller part. Golden State US California. golden syrup Brit.
a pale treacle. golden wedding the fiftieth anniversary of a
wedding. ЬЬgoldenly adv. goldenness n.
goldfinch n. any of various bright-coloured songbirds of the genus
Carduelis, esp. the Eurasian C. carduelis, with a yellow band
across each wing. [OE goldfinc (as GOLD, FINCH)]
goldfish n. a small reddish-golden Chinese carp kept for ornament,
Carassius auratus. Ьgoldfish bowl 1 a globular glass container
for goldfish. 2 a situation lacking privacy.
n. 1 a person with golden hair. 2 a a kind of buttercup,
Ranunculus auricomus. b a composite plant, Aster linosyris,
like the golden rod. [goldy f. GOLD + LOCK(2)]
goldsmith n. a worker in gold, a manufacturer of gold articles. [OE (as
golem n. 1 a clay figure supposedly brought to life in Jewish legend.
2 an automaton; a robot. [Yiddish goylem f. Heb. golem
golf n. & v. --n. a game played on a course set in open country, in
which a small hard ball is driven with clubs into a series of 18
or 9 holes with the fewest possible strokes. --v.intr. play
golf. Ьgolf-bag a bag used for carrying clubs and balls. golf
ball 1 a ball used in golf. 2 colloq. a small ball used in some
electric typewriters to carry the type. golf cart 1 a trolley
used for carrying clubs in golf. 2 a motorized cart for golfers
and equipment. golf club 1 a club used in golf. 2 an
association for playing golf. 3 the premises used by a golf
club. golf-course (or -links) the course on which golf is
played. [15th-c. Sc.: orig. unkn.]
golfer n. 1 a golf-player. 2 a cardigan.
n. (also Golgi apparatus) Biol. an organelle of vesicles and
folded membranes within the cytoplasm of most eukaryotic cells,
involved esp. in the secretion of substances. [C. Golgi, It.
cytologist d. 1926]
n. any large beetle of the genus Goliathus, esp. G. giganteus
native to Africa. [LL f. Heb. golyat giant slain by David (1
golliwog n. a black-faced brightly dressed soft doll with fuzzy hair.
[19th c.: perh. f. GOLLY(1) + POLLIWOG]
gollop v. & n. colloq. --v.tr. (golloped, golloping) swallow hastily
or greedily. --n. a hasty gulp. [perh. f. GULP, infl. by
golly(1) int. expressing surprise. [euphem. for GOD]
golly(2) n. (pl. -ies) colloq. = GOLLIWOG. [abbr.]
golosh Brit. var. of GALOSH.
GOM abbr. Grand Old Man (name orig. applied to W. E. Gladstone).
gombeen n. Ir. usury. Ьgombeen-man a moneylender. [Ir. gaimbЎn
perh. f. the same OCelt. source as med.L cambire CHANGE]
-gon comb. form forming nouns denoting plane figures with a specified
number of angles (hexagon; polygon; n-gon). [Gk -gonos -angled]
gonad n. an animal organ producing gametes, e.g. the testis or ovary.
ЬЬgonadal adj. [mod.L gonas gonad- f. Gk gone, gonos
n. (also gonadotropic) Biochem. any of various hormones
stimulating the activity of the gonads.
n. = GONADOTROPHIC HORMONE.
gondola n. 1 a light flat-bottomed boat used on Venetian canals, with a
central cabin and a high point at each end, worked by one oar at
the stern. 2 a car suspended from an airship or balloon. 3 an
island of shelves used to display goods in a supermarket. 4
(also gondola car) US a flat-bottomed open railway goods wagon.
5 a car attached to a ski-lift. [Venetian It., of obscure
gondolier n. the oarsman on a gondola. [F f. It. gondoliere (as
gone adj. 1 (of time) past (not until gone nine). 2 a lost;
hopeless. b dead. 3 colloq. pregnant for a specified time
(already three months gone). 4 sl. completely enthralled or
entranced, esp. by rhythmic music, drugs, etc. Ьbe gone depart;
leave temporarily (cf. BEGONE). gone away! a huntsman's cry,
indicating that a fox has been started. gone goose (or gosling)
colloq. a person or thing beyond hope. gone on sl. infatuated
with. [past part. of GO(1)]
goner n. sl. a person or thing that is doomed, ended, irrevocably
lost, etc.; a dead person.
gonfalon n. 1 a banner, often with streamers, hung from a crossbar. 2
hist. such a banner as the standard of some Italian republics.
ЬЬgonfalonier n. [It. gonfalone f. Gmc (cf. VANE)]
gong n. & v. --n. 1 a metal disc with a turned rim, giving a
resonant note when struck. 2 a saucer-shaped bell. 3 Brit.
sl. a medal; a decoration. --v.tr. 1 summon with a gong. 2
(of traffic police) sound a gong etc. to direct (a motorist) to
stop. [Malay gong, gung of imit. orig.]
n. an instrument for measuring angles. ЬЬgoniometry n.
goniometric adj. goniometrical adj. [F goniomЉtre f. Gk gonia
n. (pl. gonococci) a bacterium causing gonorrhoea.
ЬЬgonococcal adj. [Gk gonos generation, semen + COCCUS]
n. (US gonorrhea) a venereal disease with inflammatory
discharge from the urethra or vagina. ЬЬgonorrhoeal adj. [LL
f. Gk gonorrhoia f. gonos semen + rhoia flux]
goo n. 1 a sticky or slimy substance. 2 sickly sentiment. [20th
c.: perh. f. burgoo (Naut. sl.) = porridge]
good adj., n., & adv. --adj. (better, best) 1 having the right or
desired qualities; satisfactory, adequate. 2 a (of a person)
efficient, competent (good at French; a good driver). b (of a
thing) reliable, efficient (good brakes). c (of health etc.)
strong (good eyesight). 3 a kind, benevolent (good of you to
come). b morally excellent; virtuous (a good deed). c
charitable (good works). d well-behaved (a good child). 4
enjoyable, agreeable (a good party; good news). 5 thorough,
considerable (gave it a good wash). 6 a not less than (waited a
good hour). b considerable in number, quality, etc. (a good
many people). 7 healthy, beneficial (milk is good for you). 8
a valid, sound (a good reason). b financially sound (his credit
is good). 9 in exclamations of surprise (good heavens!). 10
right, proper, expedient (thought it good to have a try). 11
fresh, eatable, untainted (is the meat still good?). 12
(sometimes patronizing) commendable, worthy (good old George;
your good lady wife; good men and true; my good man). 13 well
shaped, attractive (has good legs; good looks). 14 in courteous
greetings and farewells (good afternoon). --n. 1 (only in
sing.) that which is good; what is beneficial or morally right
(only good can come of it; did it for your own good; what good
will it do?). 2 (only in sing.) a desirable end or object; a
thing worth attaining (sacrificing the present for a future
good). 3 (in pl.) a movable property or merchandise. b Brit.
things to be transported, as distinct from passengers. c (prec.
by the) colloq. what one has undertaken to supply (esp. deliver
the goods). d (prec. by the) sl. the real thing; the genuine
article. 4 (as pl.; prec. by the) virtuous people. --adv. US
colloq. well (doing pretty good). Ьas good as practically (he
as good as told me). be so good as (or be good enough) to
(often in a request) be kind and do (a favour) (be so good as to
open the window). be (a certain amount) to the good have as net
profit or advantage. do good show kindness, act
philanthropically. do a person good be beneficial to. for good
(and all) finally, permanently. good and colloq. used as an
intensifier before an adj. or adv. (raining good and hard; was
good and angry). the good book the Bible. good breeding
correct or courteous manners. good faith see FAITH. good for 1
beneficial to; having a good effect on. 2 able to perform;
inclined for (good for a ten-mile walk). 3 able to be trusted
to pay (is good for њ100). good form see FORM.
good-for-nothing (or -nought) adj. worthless. --n. a worthless
person. good for you! (or him!, her!, etc.) exclamation of
approval towards a person. Good Friday the Friday before Easter
Sunday commemorating the Crucifixion of Christ. good-hearted
kindly, well-meaning. good humour a genial mood. a good job a
fortunate state of affairs (it's a good job you came early).
good-looker a handsome or attractive person. good-looking
handsome; attractive. good luck 1 good fortune, happy chance.
2 exclamation of well-wishing. good money 1 genuine money;
money that might usefully have been spent elsewhere. 2 colloq.
high wages. good nature a friendly disposition. good oil
Austral. sl. reliable information. good on you! (or him!
etc.) = good for you! goods and chattels see CHATTEL.
good-time recklessly pursuing pleasure. good-timer a person who
recklessly pursues pleasure. good times a period of prosperity.
good will the intention and hope that good will result (see also
GOODWILL). a good word (often in phr. put in a good word for)
words in recommendation or defence of a person. good works
charitable acts. have a good mind see MIND. have the goods on
a person sl. have advantageous information about a person.
have a good time enjoy oneself. in a person's good books see
BOOK. in good faith with honest or sincere intentions. in good
time 1 with no risk of being late. 2 (also all in good time) in
due course but without haste. make good 1 make up for,
compensate for, pay (an expense). 2 fulfil (a promise); effect
(a purpose or an intended action). 3 demonstrate the truth of
(a statement); substantiate (a charge). 4 gain and hold (a
position). 5 replace or restore (a thing lost or damaged). 6
(absol.) accomplish what one intended. no good 1 mischief (is
up to no good). 2 useless; to no advantage (it is no good
arguing). no-good --adj. useless. --n. a useless thing or
person. take in good part not be offended by. to the good
having as profit or benefit. ЬЬgoodish adj. [OE god f. Gmc]
goodbye int. & n. (US goodby) --int. expressing good wishes on parting,
ending a telephone conversation, etc., or said with reference to
a thing got rid of or irrevocably lost. --n. (pl. goodbyes or
US goodbys) the saying of 'goodbye'; a parting; a farewell.
[contr. of God be with you! with good substituted after good
goodness n. & int. --n. 1 virtue; excellence, esp. moral. 2 kindness,
generosity (had the goodness to wait). 3 what is good or
beneficial in a thing (vegetables with all the goodness boiled
out). --int. (as a substitution for 'God') expressing
surprise, anger, etc. (goodness me!; goodness knows; for
goodness' sake!). [OE godnes (as GOOD, -NESS)]
goodo adj. Austral. & NZ = GOOD adj. 10.
adj. having a good temper; not easily annoyed.
goodwife n. (pl. -wives) Sc. archaic the mistress of a household.
goodwill n. 1 kindly feeling. 2 the established reputation of a
business etc. as enhancing its value. 3 cheerful consent or
acquiescence; readiness, zeal.
goody(1) n. & int. --n. (also goodie) (pl. -ies) 1 colloq. a good or
favoured person, esp. a hero in a story, film, etc. 2 (usu. in
pl.) something good or attractive, esp. to eat. 3 = GOODY-GOODY
n. --int. expressing childish delight.
goody(2) n. (pl. goodies) archaic (often as a title prefixed to a
surname) an elderly woman of humble station (Goody Blake). [for
GOODWIFE: cf. HUSSY]
n. & adj. colloq. --n. a smug or obtrusively virtuous person.
--adj. obtrusively or smugly virtuous.
gooey adj. (gooier, gooiest) sl. 1 viscous, sticky. 2 sickly,
sentimental. ЬЬgooeyness n. (also gooiness). [GOO + -Y(2)]
goof n. & v. sl. --n. 1 a foolish or stupid person. 2 a mistake.
--v. 1 tr. bungle, mess up. 2 intr. blunder, make a mistake.
3 intr. (often foll. by off) idle. 4 tr. (as goofed adj.)
stupefied with drugs. [var. of dial. goff f. F goffe f. It.
goffo f. med.L gufus coarse]
goofy adj. (goofier, goofiest) 1 stupid, silly, daft. 2 having
protruding or crooked front teeth. ЬЬgoofily adv. goofiness n.
goog n. Austral. sl. an egg. Ьfull as a goog very drunk. [20th
c.: orig. unkn.]
googly n. (pl. -ies) Cricket an off-break ball bowled with apparent
leg-break action. [20th c.: orig. unkn.]
googol n. ten raised to the hundredth power (10(100)). °Not in formal
use. [arbitrary formation]
gook n. US sl. offens. a foreigner, esp. a coloured person from E.
Asia. [20th c.: orig. unkn.]
goolie n. (also gooly) (pl. -ies) 1 (usu. in pl.) sl. a testicle. 2
Austral. sl. a stone or pebble. [app. of Ind. orig.; cf. Hind.
golЎ bullet, ball, pill]
goon n. sl. 1 a stupid or playful person. 2 esp. US a person
hired by racketeers etc. to terrorize political or industrial
opponents. [perh. f. dial. gooney booby: infl. by the subhuman
cartoon character 'Alice the Goon']
goop n. sl. a stupid or fatuous person. [20th c.: cf. GOOF]
goopy adj. sl. (goopier, goopiest) stupid, fatuous. ЬЬgoopiness n.
goosander n. a large diving duck, Mergus merganser, with a narrow
serrated bill. [prob. f. GOOSE + -ander in bergander
goose n. & v. --n. (pl. geese) 1 a any of various large water-birds
of the family Anatidae, with short legs, webbed feet, and a
broad bill. b the female of this (opp. GANDER). c the flesh
of a goose as food. 2 colloq. a simpleton. 3 (pl. gooses) a
tailor's smoothing-iron, having a handle like a goose's neck.
--v.tr. sl. poke (a person) in the bottom. Ьgoose bumps US =
goose-flesh. goose-egg US a zero score in a game. goose-flesh
(or -pimples or -skin) a bristling state of the skin produced by
cold or fright. goose-step a military marching step in which
the knees are kept stiff. [OE gos f. Gmc]
n. (pl. -ies) 1 a round edible yellowish-green berry with a
thin usu. translucent skin enclosing seeds in a juicy flesh. 2
the thorny shrub, Ribes grossularia, bearing this fruit. Ьplay
gooseberry Brit. colloq. be an unwanted extra (usu. third)
person. [perh. f. GOOSE + BERRY]
goosefoot n. (pl. -foots) any plant of the genus Chenopodium, having
leaves shaped like the foot of a goose.
goosegog n. Brit. colloq. a gooseberry. [joc. corrupt.]
GOP abbr. US Grand Old Party (the Republican Party).
gopher(1) n. 1 (in full pocket gopher) any burrowing rodent of the family
Geomyidae, native to N. America, having external cheek pouches
and sharp front teeth. 2 a N. American ground squirrel. 3 a
tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus, native to the southern US, that
excavates tunnels as shelter from the sun. Ьgopher snake a
cribo. [18th c.: orig. uncert.]
gopher(2) n. 1 Bibl. a tree from the wood of which Noah's ark was made.
2 (in full gopher-wood) a tree, Cladrastis lutea, yielding
yellowish timber. [Heb. goper]
goral n. a goat-antelope, Nemorhaedus goral, native to mountainous
regions of N. India, having short horns curving to the rear.
gorblimey int. & n. Brit. colloq. --int. an expression of surprise,
indignation, etc. --n. (pl. -eys) a soft service cap.
[corrupt. of God blind me]
gorcock n. Sc. & N.Engl. the male of the red grouse. [gor- (of unkn.
orig.) + COCK(1)]
n. 1 an intricate knot. 2 a difficult problem or task. Ьcut
the Gordian knot solve a problem by force or by evasion.
[Gordius, king of Phrygia, who tied an intricate knot that
remained tied until cut by Alexander the Great]
n. 1 a setter of a black and tan breed, used as a gun dog. 2
this breed. [4th Duke of Gordon, d. 1827, promoter of the
gore(1) n. blood shed and clotted. [OE gor dung, dirt]
gore(2) v.tr. pierce with a horn, tusk, etc. [ME: orig. unkn.]
gore(3) n. & v. --n. 1 a wedge-shaped piece in a garment. 2 a
triangular or tapering piece in an umbrella etc. --v.tr. shape
with a gore. [OE gara triangular piece of land, rel. to OE gar
spear, a spearhead being triangular]
gorge n. & v. --n. 1 a narrow opening between hills or a rocky
ravine, often with a stream running through it. 2 an act of
gorging; a feast. 3 the contents of the stomach; what has been
swallowed. 4 the neck of a bastion or other outwork; the rear
entrance to a work. 5 US a mass of ice etc. blocking a narrow
passage. --v. 1 intr. feed greedily. 2 tr. a (often refl.)
satiate, glut. b swallow, devour greedily. Ьcast the gorge at
reject with loathing. one's gorge rises at one is sickened by.
ЬЬgorger n. [ME f. OF gorge throat ult. f. L gurges whirlpool]
gorgeous adj. 1 richly coloured, sumptuous, magnificent. 2 colloq. very
pleasant, splendid (gorgeous weather). 3 colloq. strikingly
beautiful. ЬЬgorgeously adv. gorgeousness n. [earlier
gorgayse, -yas f. OF gorgias fine, elegant, of unkn. orig.]
gorget n. 1 hist. a a piece of armour for the throat. b a woman's
wimple. 2 a patch of colour on the throat of a bird, insect,
etc. [OF gorgete (as GORGE)]
Gorgio n. (pl. -os) the Gypsy name for a non-Gypsy. [Romany]
gorgon n. 1 (in Greek mythology) each of three snake-haired sisters
(esp. Medusa) with the power to turn anyone who looked at them
to stone. 2 a frightening or repulsive person, esp. a woman.
ЬЬgorgonian adj. [L Gorgo -onis f. Gk Gorgo f. gorgos
gorgonian n. & adj. --n. a usu. brightly coloured horny coral of the
order Gorgonacea, having a treelike skeleton bearing polyps,
e.g. a sea fan. --adj. of or relating to the Gorgonacea.
[mod.L (as GORGON), with ref. to its petrifaction]
gorgonize v.tr. (also -ise) 1 stare at like a gorgon. 2 paralyse with
n. a type of rich cheese with bluish-green veins. [Gorgonzola
gorilla n. the largest anthropoid ape, Gorilla gorilla, native to
Central Africa, having a large head, short neck, and prominent
mouth. [adopted as the specific name in 1847 f. Gk Gorillai an
African tribe noted for hairiness]
v. & n. (also -ise) --v. 1 intr. & tr. eat or devour
voraciously. 2 intr. indulge in good eating. --n. =
GOURMANDISE. ЬЬgormandizer n. [as GOURMANDISE]
gormless adj. esp. Brit. colloq. foolish, lacking sense.
ЬЬgormlessly adv. gormlessness n. [orig. gaumless f. dial.
gorse n. any spiny yellow-flowered shrub of the genus Ulex, esp.
growing on European wastelands. Also called FURZE. ЬЬgorsy adj.
[OE gors(t) rel. to OHG gersta, L hordeum, barley]
Gorsedd n. a meeting of Welsh etc. bards and druids (esp. as a daily
preliminary to the eisteddfod). [Welsh, lit. 'throne']
gory adj. (gorier, goriest) 1 involving bloodshed; bloodthirsty (a
gory film). 2 covered in gore. ЬЬgorily adv. goriness n.
gosh int. expressing surprise. [euphem. for GOD]
goshawk n. a large short-winged hawk, Accipiter gentilis. [OE
gos-hafoc (as GOOSE, HAWK(1))]
gosling n. a young goose. [ME, orig. gesling f. ON g‘slingr]
gospel n. 1 the teaching or revelation of Christ. 2 (Gospel) a the
record of Christ's life and teaching in the first four books of
the New Testament. b each of these books. c a portion from one
of them read at a service. 3 a thing regarded as absolutely
true (take my word as gospel). 4 a principle one acts on or
advocates. 5 (in full gospel music) Black American evangelical
religious singing. ЬGospel side the north side of the altar, at
which the Gospel is read. gospel truth something as true as the
Gospel. [OE godspel (as GOOD, spel news, SPELL(1)), rendering
eccl.L bona annuntiatio, bonus nuntius = evangelium EVANGEL:
assoc. with GOD]
gospeller n. the reader of the Gospel in a Communion service. Ьhot
gospeller a zealous puritan; a rabid propagandist.
gossamer n. & adj. --n. 1 a filmy substance of small spiders' webs. 2
delicate filmy material. 3 a thread of gossamer. --adj. light
and flimsy as gossamer. ЬЬgossamered adj. gossamery adj. [ME
gos(e)somer(e), app. f. GOOSE + SUMMER(1) (goose summer = St
Martin's summer, i.e. early November when geese were eaten,
gossamer being common then)]
gossip n. & v. --n. 1 a easy or unconstrained talk or writing esp.
about persons or social incidents. b idle talk; groundless
rumour. 2 an informal chat, esp. about persons or social
incidents. 3 a person who indulges in gossip. --v.intr.
(gossiped, gossiping) talk or write gossip. Ьgossip column a
section of a newspaper devoted to gossip about well-known
people. gossip columnist a regular writer of gossip columns.
gossip-monger a perpetrator of gossip. ЬЬgossiper n. gossipy
adj. [earlier sense 'godparent': f. OE godsibb person related
to one in GOD: see SIB]
gossoon n. Ir. a lad. [earlier garsoon f. F gar‡on boy]
got past and past part. of GET.
Goth n. 1 a member of a Germanic tribe that invaded the Roman Empire
in the 3rd-5th c. 2 an uncivilized or ignorant person. [LL
Gothi (pl.) f. Gk Go(t)thoi f. Goth.]
Gothic adj. & n. --adj. 1 of the Goths or their language. 2 in the
style of architecture prevalent in W. Europe in the 12th-16th
c., characterized by pointed arches. 3 (of a novel etc.) in a
style popular in the 18th-19th c., with supernatural or
horrifying events. 4 barbarous, uncouth. 5 Printing (of type)
old-fashioned German, black letter, or sanserif. --n. 1 the
Gothic language. 2 Gothic architecture. 3 Printing Gothic
type. ЬЬGothically adv. Gothicism n. Gothicize v.tr. & intr.
(also -ise). [F gothique or LL gothicus f. Gothi: see GOTH]
gotta colloq. have got a; have got to (I gotta pain; we gotta go).
gotten US past part. of GET.
n. 1 the twilight (i.e. downfall) of the gods. 2 the complete
downfall of a regime etc. [G, esp. as the title of an opera by
gouache n. 1 a method of painting in opaque pigments ground in water
and thickened with a gluelike substance. 2 these pigments. 3 a
picture painted in this way. [F f. It. guazzo]
Gouda n. a flat round usu. Dutch cheese with a yellow rind. [Gouda
in Holland, where orig. made]
gouge n. & v. --n. 1 a a chisel with a concave blade, used in
carpentry, sculpture, and surgery. b an indentation or groove
made with or as with this. 2 US colloq. a swindle. --v. 1 tr.
cut with or as with a gouge. 2 tr. a (foll. by out) force out
(esp. an eye with the thumb) with or as with a gouge. b force
out the eye of (a person). 3 tr. US colloq. swindle; extort
money from. 4 intr. Austral. dig for opal. ЬЬgouger n. [F f.
LL gubia, perh. of Celt. orig.]
goulash n. 1 a highly-seasoned Hungarian dish of meat and vegetables,
usu. flavoured with paprika. 2 (in contract bridge) a re-deal,
several cards at a time, of the four hands (unshuffled, but with
each hand arranged in suits and order of value) when no player
has bid. [Magyar guly s-hЈs f. guly s herdsman + hЈs meat]
gourami n. 1 a a large freshwater fish, Osphronemus goramy, native to
SE Asia, used as food. b any small fish of the family
Osphronemidae, usu. kept in aquariums. 2 any small brightly
coloured freshwater fish of the family Belontiidae, usu. kept in
aquariums. Also called LABYRINTH FISH. [Malay gurami]
gourd n. 1 a any of various fleshy usu. large fruits with a hard
skin, often used as containers, ornaments, etc. b any of
various climbing or trailing plants of the family Cucurbitaceae
bearing this fruit. Also called CUCURBIT. 2 the hollow hard
skin of the gourd-fruit, dried and used as a drinking-vessel,
water container, etc. ЬЬgourdful n. (pl. -fuls). [ME f. AF
gurde, OF gourde ult. f. L cucurbita]
gourmand n. & adj. --n. 1 a glutton. 2 disp. a gourmet. --adj.
gluttonous; fond of eating, esp. to excess. ЬЬgourmandism n.
[ME f. OF, of unkn. orig.]
n. the habits of a gourmand; gluttony. [F (as GOURMAND)]
gourmet n. a connoisseur of good or delicate food. [F, = wine-taster:
sense infl. by GOURMAND]
gout n. 1 a disease with inflammation of the smaller joints, esp.
the toe, as a result of excess uric acid salts in the blood. 2
archaic a a drop, esp. of blood. b a splash or spot. ЬЬgouty
adj. goutily adv. goutiness n. [ME f. OF goute f. L gutta
drop, with ref. to the medieval theory of the flowing down of
Gov. abbr. 1 Government. 2 Governor.
gov. abbr. governor.
govern v. 1 a tr. rule or control (a State, subject, etc.) with
authority; conduct the policy and affairs of (an organization
etc.). b intr. be in government. 2 a tr. influence or
determine (a person or a course of action). b intr. be the
predominating influence. 3 tr. be a standard or principle for;
constitute a law for; serve to decide (a case). 4 tr. check or
control (esp. passions). 5 tr. Gram. (esp. of a verb or
preposition) have (a noun or pronoun or its case) depending on
it. 6 tr. be in military command of (a fort, town). Ьgoverning
body the managers of an institution. ЬЬgovernable adj.
governability n. governableness n. [ME f. OF governer f. L
gubernare steer, rule f. Gk kubernao]
n. 1 the act or manner of governing. 2 the office or function
of governing. 3 sway, control. [ME f. OF (as GOVERN)]
governess n. a woman employed to teach children in a private household.
[earlier governeress f. OF governeresse (as GOVERNOR)]
adj. characteristic of a governess; prim.
n. 1 the act or manner of governing. 2 the system by which a
State or community is governed. 3 a a body of persons governing
a State. b (usu. Government) a particular ministry in office.
4 the State as an agent. 5 Gram. the relation between a
governed and a governing word. ЬGovernment House the official
residence of a governor. government issue US (of equipment)
provided by the government. government paper (or securities)
bonds etc. issued by the government. government surplus unused
equipment sold by the government. ЬЬgovernmental adj.
governmentally adv. [ME f. OF governement (as GOVERN)]
governor n. 1 a person who governs; a ruler. 2 a an official governing
a province, town, etc. b a representative of the Crown in a
colony. 3 the executive head of each State of the US. 4 an
officer commanding a fortress or garrison. 5 the head or a
member of a governing body of an institution. 6 the official in
charge of a prison. 7 a sl. one's employer. b sl. one's
father. c colloq. (as a form of address) sir. 8 Mech. an
automatic regulator controlling the speed of an engine etc.
ЬGovernor-General the representative of the Crown in a
Commonwealth country that regards the Queen as Head of State.
ЬЬgovernorate n. governorship n. [ME f. AF gouvernour, OF
govern‰o(u)r f. L gubernator -oris (as GOVERN)]
Govt. abbr. Government.
gowan n. Sc. 1 a daisy. 2 any white or yellow field-flower. [prob.
var. of dial. gollan ranunculus etc., and rel. to gold in
gowk n. dial. 1 a cuckoo. 2 an awkward or halfwitted person; a
fool. [ME f. ON gaukr f. Gmc]
gown n. & v. --n. 1 a loose flowing garment, esp. a long dress worn
by a woman. 2 the official robe of an alderman, judge, cleric,
member of a university, etc. 3 a surgeon's overall. 4 the
members of a university as distinct from the permanent residents
of the university town (cf. TOWN). --v.tr. (usu. as gowned
adj.) attire in a gown. [ME f. OF goune, gon(n)e f. LL gunna
fur garment: cf. med. Gk gouna fur]
goy n. (pl. goyim or goys) sl. derog. a Jewish name for a
non-Jew. ЬЬgoyish adj. (also goyisch). [Heb. goy people,
n. a follicle in the mammalian ovary in which an ovum develops
prior to ovulation. [R. de Graaf, Du. anatomist d. 1673]
grab v. & n. --v. (grabbed, grabbing) 1 tr. a seize suddenly. b
capture, arrest. 2 tr. take greedily or unfairly. 3 tr. sl.
attract the attention of, impress. 4 intr. (foll. by at) make a
sudden snatch at. 5 intr. (of the brakes of a motor vehicle)
act harshly or jerkily. --n. 1 a sudden clutch or attempt to
seize. 2 a mechanical device for clutching. 3 the practice of
grabbing; rapacious proceedings esp. in politics and commerce.
4 a children's card-game in which certain cards may be snatched
from the table. Ьgrab-bag US a lucky dip. grab handle (or rail
etc.) a handle or rail etc. to steady passengers in a moving
vehicle. up for grabs sl. easily obtainable; inviting capture.
ЬЬgrabber n. [MLG, MDu. grabben: cf. GRIP, GRIPE, GROPE]
grabble v.intr. 1 grope about, feel for something. 2 (often foll. by
for) sprawl on all fours, scramble (for something). [Du. & LG
grabbeln scramble for a thing (as GRAB)]
grabby adj. colloq. tending to grab; greedy, grasping.
graben n. (pl. same or grabens) Geol. a depression of the earth's
surface between faults. [G, orig. = ditch]
grace n. & v. --n. 1 attractiveness, esp. in elegance of proportion
or manner or movement; gracefulness. 2 courteous good will (had
the grace to apologize). 3 an attractive feature; an
accomplishment (social graces). 4 a (in Christian belief) the
unmerited favour of God; a divine saving and strengthening
influence. b the state of receiving this. c a divinely given
talent. 5 goodwill, favour (fall from grace). 6 delay granted
as a favour (a year's grace). 7 a short thanksgiving before or
after a meal. 8 (Grace) (in Greek mythology) each of three
beautiful sister goddesses, bestowers of beauty and charm. 9
(Grace) (prec. by His, Her, Your) forms of description or
address for a duke, duchess, or archbishop. --v.tr. (often
foll. by with) add grace to, enhance; confer honour or dignity
on (graced us with his presence). Ьdays of grace the time
allowed by law for payment of a sum due. grace and favour house
etc. Brit. a house etc. occupied by permission of a sovereign
etc. grace-note Mus. an extra note as an embellishment not
essential to the harmony or melody. in a person's good (or bad)
graces regarded by a person with favour (or disfavour). with
good (or bad) grace as if willingly (or reluctantly). [ME f. OF
f. L gratia f. gratus pleasing: cf. GRATEFUL]
graceful adj. having or showing grace or elegance. ЬЬgracefully adv.
graceless adj. lacking grace or elegance or charm. ЬЬgracelessly adv.
gracility n. 1 slenderness. 2 (of literary style) unornamented
gracious adj. & int. --adj. 1 kind; indulgent and beneficent to
inferiors. 2 (of God) merciful, benign. 3 poet. kindly,
courteous. 4 a polite epithet used of royal persons or their
acts (the gracious speech from the throne). --int. expressing
surprise. Ьgracious living an elegant way of life.
ЬЬgraciosity n. graciously adv. graciousness n. [ME f. OF f.
L gratiosus (as GRACE)]
grackle n. 1 any of various orioles, esp. of the genus Quiscalus,
native to America, the males of which are shiny black with a
blue-green sheen. Also called BLACKBIRD. 2 any of various
minas, esp. of the genus Gracula, native to Asia. [mod.L
Gracula f. L graculus jackdaw]
grad n. colloq. = GRADUATE n. 1. [abbr.]
gradate v. 1 v.intr. & tr. pass or cause to pass by gradations from one
shade to another. 2 tr. arrange in steps or grades of size etc.
[back-form. f. GRADATION]
gradation n. (usu. in pl.) 1 a stage of transition or advance. 2 a a
certain degree in rank, intensity, merit, divergence, etc. b
such a degree; an arrangement in such degrees. 3 (of paint
etc.) the gradual passing from one shade, tone, etc., to
another. 4 Philol. ablaut. ЬЬgradational adj. gradationally
adv. [L gradatio f. gradus step]
grade n. & v. --n. 1 a a certain degree in rank, merit, proficiency,
quality, etc. b a class of persons or things of the same grade.
2 a a mark indicating the quality of a student's work. b an
examination, esp. in music. 3 US a class in school, concerned
with a particular year's work and usu. numbered from the first
upwards. 4 a a gradient or slope. b the rate of ascent or
descent. 5 a a variety of cattle produced by crossing native
stock with a superior breed. b a group of animals at a similar
level of development. 6 Philol. a relative position in a series
of forms involving ablaut. --v. 1 tr. arrange in or allocate
to grades; class, sort. 2 intr. (foll. by up, down, off, into,
etc.) pass gradually between grades, or into a grade. 3 tr.
give a grade to (a student). 4 tr. blend so as to affect the
grade of colour with tints passing into each other. 5 tr.
reduce (a road etc.) to easy gradients. 6 tr. (often foll. by
up) cross (livestock) with a better breed. Ьat grade US on the
same level. grade crossing US = level crossing. grade school
US elementary school. make the grade colloq. succeed; reach
the desired standard. [F grade or L gradus step]
grader n. 1 a person or thing that grades. 2 a wheeled machine for
levelling the ground, esp. in road-making. 3 (in comb.) US a
pupil of a specified grade in a school.
gradient n. 1 a a stretch of road, railway, etc., that slopes from the
horizontal. b the amount of such a slope. 2 the rate of rise
or fall of temperature, pressure, etc., in passing from one
region to another. [prob. formed on GRADE after salient]
gradine n. (also gradin) 1 each of a series of low steps or a tier of
seats. 2 a ledge at the back of an altar. [It. gradino dimin.
of grado GRADE]
gradual adj. & n. --adj. 1 taking place or progressing slowly or by
degrees. 2 not rapid or steep or abrupt. --n. Eccl. 1 a
response sung or recited between the Epistle and Gospel in the
Mass. 2 a book of music for the sung Mass service. ЬЬgradually
adv. gradualness n. [med.L gradualis, -ale f. L gradus step,
the noun referring to the altar-steps on which the response is
n. a policy of gradual reform rather than sudden change or
revolution. ЬЬgradualist n. gradualistic adj.
graduand n. Brit. a person about to receive an academic degree. [med.L
graduandus gerundive of graduare GRADUATE]
graduate n. & v. --n. 1 a person who has been awarded an academic
degree (also attrib.: graduate student). 2 US a person who has
completed a school course. --v. 1 a intr. take an academic
degree. b tr. US admit to an academic degree or a certificate
of completion of School Studies. 2 intr. a (foll. by from) be
a graduate of a specified university. b (foll. by in) be a
graduate in a specified subject. 3 tr. US send out as a
graduate from a university etc. 4 intr. a (foll. by to) move
up to (a higher grade of activity etc.). b (foll. by as, in)
gain specified qualifications. 5 tr. mark out in degrees or
parts. 6 tr. arrange in gradations; apportion (e.g. tax)
according to a scale. 7 intr. (foll. by into, away) pass by
degrees. Ьgraduated pension (in the UK) a system of pension
contributions by employees in proportion to their wages or
salary. graduate school a department of a university for
advanced work by graduates. ЬЬgraduator n. [med.L graduari
take a degree f. L gradus step]
n. 1 the act or an instance of graduating or being graduated.
2 a ceremony at which degrees are conferred. 3 each or all of
the marks on a vessel or instrument indicating degrees of
Graecism n. (also Grecism) 1 a Greek idiom, esp. as imitated in another
language. 2 a the Greek spirit, style, mode of expression, etc.
b the imitation of these. [F gr‚cisme or med.L Graecismus f.
Graecize v.tr. (also Grecize, -ise) give a Greek character or form to.
[L Graecizare (as GRAECISM)]
adj. 1 of or relating to the Greeks and Romans. 2 Wrestling
denoting a style attacking only the upper part of the body.
graffito n. (pl. graffiti) 1 (usu. in pl.) a piece of writing or
drawing scribbled, scratched, or sprayed on a surface. °Not a
mass noun in this sense, and so a plural construction is needed,
e.g. graffiti are (not is) an art form. 2 Art a form of
decoration made by scratches on wet plaster, showing a
different-coloured under-surface. [It. f. graffio a scratch]
graft(1) n. & v. --n. 1 Bot. a a shoot or scion inserted into a slit
of stock, from which it receives sap. b the place where a graft
is inserted. 2 Surgery a piece of living tissue, organ, etc.,
transplanted surgically. 3 sl. hard work. --v. 1 tr. a
(often foll. by into, on, together, etc.) insert (a scion) as a
graft. b insert a graft on (a stock). 2 intr. insert a graft.
3 tr. Surgery transplant (living tissue). 4 tr. (foll. by in,
on) insert or fix (a thing) permanently to another. 5 intr.
sl. work hard. Ьgrafting-clay (or -wax) a substance for
covering the united parts of a graft and stock. ЬЬgrafter n.
[ME (earlier graff) f. OF grafe, grefe f. L graphium f. Gk
graphion stylus f. grapho write]
graft(2) n. & v. colloq. --n. 1 practices, esp. bribery, used to
secure illicit gains in politics or business. 2 such gains.
--v.intr. seek or make such gains. ЬЬgrafter n. [19th c.:
Grail n. (in full Holy Grail) 1 (in medieval legend) the cup or
platter used by Christ at the Last Supper, and in which Joseph
of Arimathea received Christ's blood at the Cross, esp. as the
object of quests by medieval knights. 2 any object of a quest.
[ME f. OF graal etc. f. med.L gradalis dish, of unkn. orig.]
grain n. & v. --n. 1 a fruit or seed of a cereal. 2 a (collect.)
wheat or any allied grass used as food, corn. b (collect.)
their fruit. c any particular species of corn. 3 a a small
hard particle of salt, sand, etc. b a discrete particle or
crystal, usu. small, in a rock or metal. c a piece of solid
propellant for use in a rocket engine. 4 the smallest unit of
weight in the troy system (equivalent to 1/480 of an ounce), and
in the avoirdupois system (equivalent to 1/437.5 of an ounce).
5 the smallest possible quantity (not a grain of truth in it).
6 a roughness of surface. b Photog. a granular appearance on a
photograph or negative. 7 the texture of skin, wood, stone,
etc.; the arrangement and size of constituent particles. 8 a a
pattern of lines of fibre in wood or paper. b lamination or
planes of cleavage in stone, coal, etc. 9 nature, temper,
tendency. 10 a hist. kermes or cochineal, or dye made from
either of these. b poet. dye; colour. --v. 1 tr. paint in
imitation of the grain of wood or marble. 2 tr. give a granular
surface to. 3 tr. dye in grain. 4 tr. & intr. form into
grains. 5 tr. remove hair from (hides). Ьagainst the grain
contrary to one's natural inclination or feeling. grain-leather
leather dressed with grain-side out. grain-side the side of a
hide on which the hair was. grains of Paradise capsules of a W.
African plant (Aframomum melegueta), used as a spice and a drug.
in grain thorough, genuine, by nature, downright, indelible.
ЬЬgrained adj. (also in comb.). grainer n. grainless adj. [ME
f. OF f. L granum]
grainy adj. (grainier, grainiest) 1 granular. 2 resembling the grain
of wood. 3 Photog. having a granular appearance. ЬЬgraininess
adj. Zool. of or relating to long-legged wading birds, e.g.
storks, flamingos, etc. [mod.L grallatorius f. L grallator
stilt-walker f. grallae stilts]
gram(1) n. (also gramme) a metric unit of mass equal to one-thousandth
of a kilogram. Ьgram-atom Chem. the quantity of a chemical
element equal to its relative atomic mass in grams (see
MOLE(4)). gram-equivalent Chem. the quantity of a substance
equal to its equivalent weight in grams. gram-molecule Chem.
the quantity of a substance equal to its relative molecular mass
in grams. [F gramme f. Gk gramma small weight]
gram(2) n. any of various pulses used as food. [Port. gr°.o f. L
-gram comb. form forming nouns denoting a thing written or recorded
(often in a certain way) (anagram; epigram; monogram; telegram).
ЬЬ-grammatic comb. form forming adjectives. [from or after Gk
gramma -atos thing written, letter of the alphabet, f. grapho
adj. of or like grass; grassy. [L gramen -inis grass]
adj. = GRAMINACEOUS. [L gramineus f. gramen -inis grass]
adj. feeding on grass, cereals, etc. [L gramen -inis grass +
n. 1 a word represented by a single shorthand sign. 2 a
logogram. [irreg. f. Gk gramma letter of the alphabet + logos
grammar n. 1 a the study or rules of a language's inflections or other
means of showing the relation between words, including its
phonetic system. b a body of form and usages in a specified
language (Latin grammar). 2 a person's manner or quality of
observance or application of the rules of grammar (bad grammar).
3 a book on grammar. 4 the elements or rudiments of an art or
science. 5 Brit. colloq. = grammar school. Ьgrammar school 1
Brit. esp. hist. a selective State secondary school with a
mainly academic curriculum. 2 Brit. hist. a school founded in
or before the 16th c. for teaching Latin, later becoming a
secondary school teaching academic subjects. 3 US a school
intermediate between primary and high school. ЬЬgrammarless
adj. [ME f. AF gramere, OF gramaire f. L grammatica f. Gk
grammatike (tekhne) (art) of letters f. gramma -atos letter of
n. an expert in grammar or linguistics; a philologist. [ME f.
adj. 1 a of or relating to grammar. b determined by grammar,
esp. by form or inflection (grammatical gender). 2 conforming
to the rules of grammar, or to the formal principles of an art,
science, etc. ЬЬgrammatically adv. grammaticalness n. [F
grammatical or LL grammaticalis f. L grammaticus f. Gk
grammatikos (as GRAMMAR)]
gramme var. of GRAM(1).
n. an instrument reproducing recorded sound by a stylus resting
on a rotating grooved disc. °Now more usually called
record-player. ЬЬgramophonic adj. [formed by inversion of
grampus n. (pl. grampuses) 1 a dolphin, Grampus griseus, with a blunt
snout and long pointed black flippers. 2 a person breathing
heavily and loudly. [earlier graundepose, grapeys f. OF grapois
etc. f. med.L craspiscis f. L crassus piscis fat fish]
n. Biol. a method of differentiating bacteria by staining with
a dye, then attempting to remove the dye with a solvent, for
purposes of identification. ЬGram-positive (or negative) (of
bacteria) that do (or do not) retain the dye. [H. C. J. Gram,
Da. physician d. 1938]
gran n. colloq. grandmother (cf. GRANNY). [abbr.]
n. (also grenadilla) a passion-fruit. [Sp., dimin. of granada
granary n. (pl. -ies) 1 a storehouse for threshed grain. 2 a region
producing, and esp. exporting, much corn. [L granarium f.
grand adj. & n. --adj. 1 a splendid, magnificent, imposing,
dignified. b solemn or lofty in conception, execution, or
expression; noble. 2 main; of chief importance (grand
staircase; grand entrance). 3 (Grand) of the highest rank, esp.
in official titles (Grand Cross; grand vizier; Grand
Inquisitor). 4 colloq. excellent, enjoyable (had a grand time;
in grand condition). 5 belonging to high society; wealthy (the
grand folk at the big house). 6 (in comb.) in names of family
relationships, denoting the second degree of ascent or descent
(granddaughter). 7 (Grand) (in French phrases or imitations)
great (grand army; Grand Monarch; Grand Hotel). 8 Law serious,
important (grand larceny) (cf. COMMON, PETTY). --n. 1 = grand
piano. 2 (pl. same) (usu. in pl.) esp. US sl. a thousand
dollars or pounds. Ьgrand aunt a great-aunt (see GREAT adj.
11). grand duchy a State ruled by a grand duke or duchess.
grand duke (or duchess) 1 a prince (or princess) or noble person
ruling over a territory. 2 (Grand Duke) hist. the son or
grandson of a Russian tsar. grand jury esp. US Law a jury
selected to examine the validity of an accusation prior to
trial. grand master 1 a chess-player of the highest class. 2
the head of a military order of knighthood, of Freemasons, etc.
Grand National a steeplechase held annually at Aintree,
Liverpool. grand nephew (or niece) a great-nephew or -niece
(see GREAT adj. 11). grand opera opera on a serious theme, or
in which the entire libretto (including dialogue) is sung.
grand piano a large full-toned piano standing on three legs,
with the body, strings, and soundboard arranged horizontally and
in line with the keys. grand slam 1 Sport the winning of all of
a group of championships. 2 Bridge the winning of 13 tricks.
grand total the final amount after everything is added up; the
sum of other totals. grand tour hist. a cultural tour of
Europe, esp. in the 18th c. for educational purposes. ЬЬgrandly
adv. grandness n. [ME f. AF graunt, OF grant f. L grandis
grandad n. (also grand-dad) colloq. 1 grandfather. 2 an elderly man.
grandam n. 1 (also grandame) archaic grandmother. 2 an old woman. 3
an ancestress. [ME f. AF graund dame (as GRAND, DAME)]
n. (pl. -children) a child of one's son or daughter.
n. a female grandchild.
n. a dignified lady of high rank. [F]
grandee n. 1 a Spanish or Portuguese nobleman of the highest rank. 2 a
person of high rank or eminence. [Sp. & Port. grande, assim.
grandeur n. 1 majesty, splendour; dignity of appearance or bearing. 2
high rank, eminence. 3 nobility of character. [F f. grand
n. a male grandparent. Ьgrandfather clock a clock in a tall
wooden case, driven by weights. ЬЬgrandfatherly adj.
n. a dramatic entertainment of a sensational or horrific
nature. [the name (= Great Punch) of a theatre in Paris]
adj. bearing large flowers. [mod.L (often used in specific
names of large-flowered plants) f. L grandis great + FLORA]
adj. 1 pompous or inflated in language. 2 given to boastful
talk. ЬЬgrandiloquence n. grandiloquently adv. [L
grandiloquus (as GRAND, -loquus -speaking f. loqui speak),
after eloquent etc.]
grandiose adj. 1 producing or meant to produce an imposing effect. 2
planned on an ambitious or magnificent scale. ЬЬgrandiosely
adv. grandiosity n. [F f. It. grandioso (as GRAND, -OSE(1))]
grandma n. colloq. grandmother.
grand mal n. a serious form of epilepsy with loss of consciousness (cf.
PETIT MAL). [F, = great sickness]
grandmama n. archaic colloq. = GRANDMA.
n. a female grandparent. Ьgrandmother clock a clock like a
grandfather clock but in a smaller case. teach one's
grandmother to suck eggs presume to advise a more experienced
person. ЬЬgrandmotherly adj.
grandpa n. colloq. grandfather.
grandpapa n. archaic colloq. = GRANDPA.
n. a parent of one's father or mother.
n. any of several important international motor or motor-cycle
racing events. [F, = great or chief prize]
n. the classical or golden age, esp. the 17th c. in France.
[F, = great century or age]
grandsire n. archaic 1 grandfather, old man, ancestor. 2 Bell-ringing a
method of change-ringing.
grandson n. a male grandchild.
n. the main stand, usu. roofed, for spectators at a racecourse
etc. Ьgrandstand finish a close and exciting finish to a race
grange n. 1 a country house with farm-buildings. 2 archaic a barn.
[ME f. AF graunge, OF grange f. med.L granica (villa) ult. f. L
adj. producing grain or a grainlike seed. ЬЬgraniform adj. [L
granite n. 1 a granular crystalline igneous rock of quartz, mica,
feldspar, etc., used for building. 2 a determined or resolute
quality, attitude, etc. ЬЬgranitic adj. granitoid adj. & n.
[It. granito, lit. grained f. grano f. L granum GRAIN]
n. 1 a speckled form of earthenware imitating the appearance of
granite. 2 a kind of enamelled ironware.
adj. feeding on grain. ЬЬgranivore n. [L granum GRAIN]
granny n. (also grannie) (pl. -ies) colloq. grandmother. Ьgranny
bond Brit. colloq. a form of National Savings certificate
orig. available only to pensioners. granny flat (or annexe)
Brit. part of a house made into self-contained accommodation
for an elderly relative. granny knot a reef-knot crossed the
wrong way and therefore insecure. [obs. grannam for GRANDAM +
n. an Australian green variety of apple. [Maria Ann ('Granny')
Smith d. 1870]
grant v. & n. --v.tr. 1 a consent to fulfil (a request, wish, etc.)
(granted all he asked). b allow (a person) to have (a thing)
(granted me my freedom). c (as granted) colloq. apology
accepted; pardon given. 2 give (rights, property, etc.)
formally; transfer legally. 3 (often foll. by that + clause)
admit as true; concede, esp. as a basis for argument. --n. 1
the process of granting or a thing granted. 2 a sum of money
given by the State for any of various purposes, esp. to finance
education. 3 Law a a legal conveyance by written instrument. b
formal conferment. Ьgrant-in-aid (pl. grants-in-aid) a grant
by central government to local government or an institution.
take for granted 1 assume something to be true or valid. 2
cease to appreciate through familiarity. ЬЬgrantable adj.
grantee n. (esp. in sense 2 of v.). granter n. grantor n.
(esp. in sense 2 of v.). [ME f. OF gr(e)anter var. of creanter
ult. f. part. of L credere entrust]
Granth n. (also Grunth) the sacred scriptures of the Sikhs. [Hindi, =
book, code f. Skr. grantha tying, literary composition]
n. (pl. -os) a touring-car. [It., = great touring]
granular adj. 1 of or like grains or granules. 2 having a granulated
surface or structure. ЬЬgranularity n. granularly adv. [LL
granulate v. 1 tr. & intr. form into grains (granulated sugar). 2 tr.
roughen the surface of. 3 intr. (of a wound etc.) form small
prominences as the beginning of healing; heal, join.
ЬЬgranulation n. granulator n.
granule n. a small grain. [LL granulum, dimin. of L granum grain]
n. Physiol. any of various white blood cells having granules
in their cytoplasm. ЬЬgranulocytic adj.
adj. relating to the distribution of grain sizes in sand etc.
[F granulom‚trique (as GRANULE, METRIC)]
grape n. 1 a berry (usu. green, purple, or black) growing in clusters
on a vine, used as fruit and in making wine. 2 (prec. by the)
colloq. wine. 3 = GRAPESHOT. 4 (in pl.) a diseased growth like
a bunch of grapes on the pastern of a horse etc., or on a pleura
in cattle. Ьgrape hyacinth any liliaceous plant of the genus
Muscari, with clusters of usu. blue flowers. grape-sugar
dextrose. ЬЬgrapey adj. (also grapy). [ME f. OF grape bunch
of grapes prob. f. graper gather (grapes) f. grap(p)e hook,
ult. f. Gmc]
n. (pl. same) 1 a large round yellow citrus fruit with an acid
juicy pulp. 2 the tree, Citrus paradisi, bearing this fruit.
grapeshot n. hist. small balls used as charge in a cannon and scattering
grapevine n. 1 any of various vines of the genus Vitis, esp. Vitis
vinifera. 2 colloq. the means of transmission of unofficial
information or rumour (heard it through the grapevine).
graph(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a diagram showing the relation between variable
quantities, usu. of two variables, each measured along one of a
pair of axes at right angles. 2 Math. a collection of points
whose coordinates satisfy a given relation. --v.tr. plot or
trace on a graph. Ьgraph paper paper printed with a network of
lines as a basis for drawing graphs. [abbr. of graphic formula]
graph(2) n. Linguistics a visual symbol, esp. a letter or letters,
representing a unit of sound or other feature of speech. [Gk
-graph comb. form forming nouns and verbs meaning: 1 a thing written or
drawn etc. in a specified way (autograph; photograph). 2 an
instrument that records (heliograph; seismograph; telegraph).
grapheme n. Linguistics 1 a class of letters etc. representing a unit of
sound. 2 a feature of a written expression that cannot be
analysed into smaller meaningful units. ЬЬgraphematic adj.
graphemic adj. graphemically adv. [GRAPH(2) + -EME]
-grapher comb. form forming nouns denoting a person concerned with a
subject (geographer; radiographer). [from or after Gk - graphos
writer + -ER(1)]
graphic adj. & n. --adj. 1 of or relating to the visual or descriptive
arts, esp. writing and drawing. 2 vividly descriptive. 3 (of
minerals) showing marks like writing on the surface or in a
fracture. 4 = GRAPHICAL. --n. a product of the graphic arts
(cf. GRAPHICS). Ьgraphic arts the visual and technical arts
involving design, writing, drawing, printing, etc. graphic
equalizer a device for the separate control of the strength and
quality of selected frequency bands. ЬЬgraphically adv.
graphicness n. [L graphicus f. Gk graphikos f. graphe writing]
-graphic comb. form (also -graphical) forming adjectives corresponding to
nouns in -graphy (see -GRAPHY). ЬЬ-graphically comb. form
forming adverbs. [from or after Gk -graphikos (as GRAPHIC)]
n. the ability to read a map, graph, etc., or to present
information by means of diagrams. [GRAPHIC, after literacy,
graphical adj. 1 of or in the form of graphs (see GRAPH(1)). 2 graphic.
graphics n.pl. (usu. treated as sing.) 1 the products of the graphic
arts, esp. commercial design or illustration. 2 the use of
diagrams in calculation and design. 3 (in full computer
graphics) Computing a mode of processing and output in which a
significant part of the information is in pictorial form.
graphite n. a crystalline allotropic form of carbon used as a solid
lubricant, in pencils, and as a moderator in nuclear reactors
etc. Also called PLUMBAGO, black lead. ЬЬgraphitic adj.
graphitize v.tr. & intr. (also -ise). [G Graphit f. Gk grapho
n. 1 the study of handwriting esp. as a supposed guide to
character. 2 a system of graphic formulae; notation for graphs
(see GRAPH(1)). 3 Linguistics the study of systems of writing.
ЬЬgraphological adj. graphologist n. [Gk graphe writing]
-graphy comb. form forming nouns denoting: 1 a descriptive science
(bibliography; geography). 2 a technique of producing images
(photography; radiography). 3 a style or method of writing,
drawing, etc. (calligraphy). [from or after F or G -graphie f.
L -graphia f. Gk -graphia writing]
grapnel n. 1 a device with iron claws, attached to a rope and used for
dragging or grasping. 2 a small anchor with several flukes.
[ME f. AF f. OF grapon f. Gmc: cf. GRAPE]
grappa n. a brandy distilled from the fermented residue of grapes
after they have been pressed in wine-making. [It.]
grapple v. & n. --v. 1 intr. (often foll. by with) fight at close
quarters or in close combat. 2 intr. (foll. by with) try to
manage or overcome a difficult problem etc. 3 tr. a grip with
the hands; come to close quarters with. b seize with or as with
a grapnel; grasp. --n. 1 a a hold or grip in or as in
wrestling. b a contest at close quarters. 2 a
clutching-instrument; a grapnel. Ьgrappling-iron (or -hook) =
GRAPNEL. ЬЬgrappler n. [OF grapil (n.) f. Prov., dimin. of
grapa hook (as GRAPNEL)]
n. an extinct marine invertebrate animal found as a fossil in
lower Palaeozoic rocks. [Gk graptos marked with letters +
grasp v. & n. --v. 1 tr. a clutch at; seize greedily. b hold
firmly; grip. 2 intr. (foll. by at) try to seize; accept
avidly. 3 tr. understand or realize (a fact or meaning). --n.
1 a firm hold; a grip. 2 (foll. by of) a mastery or control (a
grasp of the situation). b a mental hold or understanding (a
grasp of the facts). 3 mental agility (a quick grasp). Ьgrasp
at a straw see STRAW. grasp the nettle tackle a difficulty
boldly. within one's grasp capable of being grasped or
comprehended by one. ЬЬgraspable adj. grasper n. [ME graspe,
grapse perh. f. OE gr‘psan (unrecorded) f. Gmc, rel. to GROPE:
cf. LG grapsen]
grasping adj. avaricious, greedy. ЬЬgraspingly adv. graspingness n.
grass n. & v. --n. 1 a vegetation belonging to a group of small
plants with green blades that are eaten by cattle, horses,
sheep, etc. b any species of this. c any plant of the family
Gramineae, which includes cereals, reeds, and bamboos. 2
pasture land. 3 grass-covered ground, a lawn (keep off the
grass). 4 grazing (out to grass; be at grass). 5 sl.
marijuana. 6 Brit. sl. an informer, esp. a police informer. 7
the earth's surface above a mine; the pit-head. 8 sl.
asparagus. --v. 1 tr. cover with turf. 2 tr. US provide with
pasture. 3 Brit. sl. a tr. betray, esp. to the police. b
intr. inform the police. 4 tr. knock down; fell (an opponent).
5 tr. a bring (a fish) to the bank. b bring down (a bird) by a
shot. Ьat grass out of work, on holiday, etc. grass bird
Austral. any of various warblers, esp. of the genus Megalurus,
living among reeds. grass-box a receptacle for cut grass on a
lawnmower. grass-cloth a linen-like cloth woven from ramie etc.
grass court a grass-covered lawn-tennis court. grass of
Parnassus a herbaceous plant, Parnassia palustris. grass
parakeet Austral. a parakeet, esp. of the genus Neophema,
frequenting grassland. grass roots 1 a fundamental level or
source. 2 ordinary people, esp. as voters; the rank and file of
an organization, esp. a political party. grass skirt a skirt
made of long grass and leaves fastened to a waistband. grass
snake 1 Brit. the common ringed snake, Natrix natrix. 2 US the
common greensnake, Opheodrys vernalis. grass tree = BLACKBOY.
grass widow (or widower) a person whose husband (or wife) is
away for a prolonged period. grass-wrack eel-grass. not let
the grass grow under one's feet be quick to act or to seize an
opportunity. ЬЬgrassless adj. grasslike adj. [OE gr‘s f. Gmc,
rel. to GREEN, GROW]
n. a jumping and chirping plant-eating insect of the order
grassland n. a large open area covered with grass, esp. one used for
grassy adj. (grassier, grassiest) 1 covered with or abounding in
grass. 2 resembling grass. 3 of grass. ЬЬgrassiness n.
grate(1) v. 1 tr. reduce to small particles by rubbing on a serrated
surface. 2 intr. (often foll. by against, on) rub with a harsh
scraping sound. 3 tr. utter in a harsh tone. 4 intr. (often
foll. by on) a sound harshly or discordantly. b have an
irritating effect. 5 tr. grind (one's teeth). 6 intr. (of a
hinge etc.) creak. [ME f. OF grater ult. f. WG]
grate(2) n. 1 the recess of a fireplace or furnace. 2 a metal frame
confining fuel in a grate. [ME, = grating f. OF ult. f. L
grateful adj. 1 thankful; feeling or showing gratitude (am grateful to
you for helping). 2 pleasant, acceptable. ЬЬgratefully adv.
gratefulness n. [obs. grate (adj.) f. L gratus + -FUL]
grater n. a device for reducing cheese or other food to small
graticule n. 1 fine lines or fibres incorporated in a telescope or other
optical instrument as a measuring scale or as an aid in locating
objects. 2 Surveying a network of lines on paper representing
meridians and parallels. [F f. med.L graticula for craticula
gridiron f. L cratis hurdle]
gratify v.tr. (-fies, -fied) 1 a please, delight. b please by
compliance; assent to the wish of. 2 indulge in or yield to (a
feeling or desire). ЬЬgratification n. gratifier n.
gratifying adj. gratifyingly adv. [F gratifier or L
gratificari do a favour to, make a present of, f. gratus
adj. 1 sounding harsh or discordant (a grating laugh). 2
having an irritating effect. ЬЬgratingly adv.
n. 1 a framework of parallel or crossed metal bars. 2 Optics a
set of parallel wires, lines ruled on glass, etc., for producing
spectra by diffraction.
gratis adv. & adj. free; without charge. [L, contracted ablat. pl. of
gratitude n. being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to
return kindness. [F gratitude or med.L gratitudo f. gratus
adj. 1 given or done free of charge. 2 uncalled for;
unwarranted; lacking good reason (a gratuitous insult).
ЬЬgratuitously adv. gratuitousness n. [L gratuitus
spontaneous: cf. fortuitous]
gratuity n. (pl. -ies) money given in recognition of services; a tip.
[OF gratuit‚ or med.L gratuitas gift f. L gratus grateful]
adj. expressing congratulation. [LL gratulatorius f. L gratus
graunch v.intr. & tr. make or cause to make a crunching or grinding
gravamen n. (pl. gravamens or gravamina) 1 the essence or most serious
part of an argument. 2 a grievance. [LL, = inconvenience, f. L
gravare to load f. gravis heavy]
grave(1) n. 1 a a trench dug in the ground to receive a coffin on
burial. b a mound or memorial stone placed over this. 2 (prec.
by the) death, esp. as indicating mortal finality. 3 something
compared to or regarded as a grave. Ьturn in one's grave (of a
dead person) be thought of in certain circumstances as likely to
have been shocked or angry when alive. ЬЬgraveless adj.
graveward adv. & adj. [OE gr‘f f. WG]
grave(2) adj. & n. --adj. 1 a serious, weighty, important (a grave
matter). b dignified, solemn, sombre (a grave look). 2
extremely serious or threatening (grave danger). 3 (of sound)
low-pitched, not acute. --n. = grave accent. Ьgrave accent a
mark (`) placed over a vowel in some languages to denote
pronunciation, length, etc., orig. indicating low or falling
pitch. ЬЬgravely adv. graveness n. [F grave or L gravis
grave(3) v.tr. (past part. graven or graved) 1 (foll. by in, on) fix
indelibly (on one's memory). 2 archaic engrave, carve. Ьgraven
image an idol. [OE grafan dig, engrave f. Gmc: cf. GROOVE]
grave(4) v.tr. clean (a ship's bottom) by burning off accretions and by
tarring. Ьgraving dock = dry dock. [perh. F dial. grave = OF
n. 1 a person who digs graves. 2 (in full gravedigger beetle)
a sexton beetle.
gravel n. & v. --n. 1 a a mixture of coarse sand and small water-worn
or pounded stones, used for paths and roads and as an aggregate.
b Geol. a stratum of this. 2 Med. aggregations of crystals
formed in the urinary tract. --v.tr. (gravelled, gravelling;
US graveled, graveling) 1 lay or strew with gravel. 2 perplex,
puzzle, nonplus (from an obs. sense 'run (a ship) aground').
Ьgravel-blind literary almost completely blind ('more than
sand-blind', in Shakesp. Merchant of Venice II. ii. 33). [ME
f. OF gravel(e) dimin. of grave (as GRAVE(4))]
gravelly adj. 1 of or like gravel. 2 having or containing gravel. 3
(of a voice) deep and rough-sounding.
graven past part. of GRAVE(3).
graver n. 1 an engraving tool; a burin. 2 archaic an engraver; a
Graves n. a light usu. white wine from Graves in France.
n. exophthalmic goitre with characteristic swelling of the neck
and protrusion of the eyes, resulting from an overactive thyroid
gland. [R. J. Graves, Ir. physician d. 1853]
n. a stone (usu. inscribed) marking a grave.
graveyard n. a burial-ground, esp. by a church.
gravid adj. literary or Zool. pregnant. [L gravidus f. gravis
n. an instrument for measuring the difference in the force of
gravity from one place to another. [F gravimЉtre f. L gravis
adj. 1 of or relating to the measurement of weight. 2 denoting
chemical analysis based on weight.
n. the measurement of weight.
gravitas n. solemn demeanour; seriousness. [L f. gravis serious]
gravitate v. 1 intr. (foll. by to, towards) move or be attracted to some
source of influence. 2 tr. & intr. a move or tend by force of
gravity towards. b sink by or as if by gravity. [mod.L
n. Physics 1 a force of attraction between any particle of
matter in the universe and any other. 2 the effect of this,
esp. the falling of bodies to the earth. [mod.L gravitatio (as
adj. of or relating to gravitation. Ьgravitational constant
the constant in Newton's law of gravitation relating gravity to
the masses and separation of particles. °Symb.: G.
gravitational field the region of space surrounding a body in
which another body experiences a force of attraction.
gravity n. 1 a the force that attracts a body to the centre of the
earth or other celestial body. b the degree of intensity of
this measured by acceleration. c gravitational force. 2 the
property of having weight. 3 a importance, seriousness; the
quality of being grave. b solemnity, sobriety; serious
demeanour. Ьgravity feed the supply of material by its fall
under gravity. [F gravit‚ or L gravitas f. gravis heavy]
gravure n. = PHOTOGRAVURE. [abbr.]
gravy n. (pl. -ies) 1 a the juices exuding from meat during and
after cooking. b a dressing or sauce for food, made from these
or from other materials, e.g. stock. 2 sl. unearned or
unexpected money. Ьgravy-boat a boat-shaped vessel for serving
gravy. gravy train sl. a source of easy financial benefit.
[ME, perh. from a misreading as grav‚ of OF gran‚, prob. f.
grain spice: see GRAIN]
gray(1) n. Physics the SI unit of the absorbed dose of ionizing
radiation, corresponding to one joule per kilogram. °Abbr.: Gy.
[L. H. Gray, Engl. radiobiologist d. 1965]
gray(2) US var. of GREY.
grayling n. 1 any silver-grey freshwater fish of the genus Thymallus,
with a long high dorsal fin. 2 a butterfly, Hipparchia semele,
having wings with grey undersides and bright eye-spots on the
upper side. [gray var. of GREY + -LING(2)]
graywacke US var. of GREYWACKE.
graze(1) v. 1 intr. (of cattle, sheep, etc.) eat growing grass. 2 tr.
a feed (cattle etc.) on growing grass. b feed on (grass). 3
intr. pasture cattle. ЬЬgrazer n. [OE grasian f. gr‘s GRASS]
graze(2) v. & n. --v. 1 tr. rub or scrape (a part of the body, esp. the
skin) so as to break the surface without causing bleeding. 2 a
tr. touch lightly in passing. b intr. (foll. by against, along,
etc.) move with a light passing contact. --n. an act or
instance of grazing. [perh. a specific use of GRAZE(1), as if
'take off the grass close to the ground' (of a shot etc.)]
grazier n. 1 a person who feeds cattle for market. 2 Austral. a
large-scale sheep-farmer or cattle-farmer. ЬЬgraziery n.
[GRASS + -IER]
grazing n. grassland suitable for pasturage.
grease n. & v. --n. 1 oily or fatty matter esp. as a lubricant. 2
the melted fat of a dead animal. 3 oily matter in unprocessed
wool. --v.tr. smear or lubricate with grease. Ьgrease-gun a
device for pumping grease under pressure to a particular point.
grease the palm of colloq. bribe. like greased lightning
colloq. very fast. ЬЬgreaseless adj. [ME f. AF grece, gresse,
OF graisse ult. f. L crassus (adj.) fat]
n. a waxy composition used as make-up for actors.
adj. impervious to the penetration of grease.
greaser n. 1 a person or thing that greases. 2 sl. a member of a gang
of youths with long hair and riding motor cycles. 3 US sl.
offens. a Mexican or Spanish-American. 4 sl. a gentle landing
of an aircraft.
greasy adj. (greasier, greasiest) 1 a of or like grease. b smeared or
covered with grease. c containing or having too much grease. 2
a slippery. b (of a person or manner) unpleasantly unctuous,
smarmy. c objectionable. ЬЬgreasily adv. greasiness n.
great adj. & n. --adj. 1 a of a size, amount, extent, or intensity
considerably above the normal or average; big (made a great
hole; take great care; lived to a great age). b also with
implied surprise, admiration, contempt, etc., esp. in
exclamations (you great idiot!; great stuff!; look at that great
wasp). c reinforcing other words denoting size, quantity, etc.
(a great big hole; a great many). 2 important, pre-eminent;
worthy or most worthy of consideration (the great thing is not
to get caught). 3 grand, imposing (a great occasion; the great
hall). 4 a (esp. of a public or historic figure) distinguished;
prominent. b (the Great) as a title denoting the most important
of the name (Alfred the Great). 5 a (of a person) remarkable in
ability, character, achievement, etc. (great men; a great
thinker). b (of a thing) outstanding of its kind (the Great
Fire). 6 (foll. by at, on) competent, skilled, well-informed.
7 fully deserving the name of; doing a thing habitually or
extensively (a great reader; a great believer in tolerance; not
a great one for travelling). 8 (also greater) the larger of the
name, species, etc. (great auk; greater celandine). 9 (Greater)
(of a city etc.) including adjacent urban areas (Greater
Manchester). 10 colloq. a very enjoyable or satisfactory;
attractive, fine (had a great time; it would be great if we
won). b (as an exclam.) fine, very good. 11 (in comb.) (in
names of family relationships) denoting one degree further
removed upwards or downwards (great-uncle;
great-great-grandmother). --n. 1 a great or outstanding person
or thing. 2 (in pl.) (Greats) colloq. (at Oxford University) an
honours course or final examinations in classics and philosophy.
Ьgreat and small all classes or types. the Great Bear see
BEAR(2). Great Britain England, Wales, and Scotland. great
circle see CIRCLE. Great Dane see DANE. great deal see
DEAL(1). great-hearted magnanimous; having a noble or generous
mind. great-heartedness magnanimity. the great majority by far
the most. great northern diver a diving sea bird, Gavia immer,
of the northern hemisphere. great organ the chief manual in a
large organ, with its related pipes and mechanism. Great
Russian n. a member or the language of the principal ethnic
group in the USSR; Russian. --adj. of or relating to this
people or language. great tit a Eurasian songbird, Parus major,
with black and white head markings. great toe the big toe.
Great War the world war of 1914-18. to a great extent largely.
ЬЬgreatness n. [OE great f. WG]
greatcoat n. a long heavy overcoat.
greatly adv. by a considerable amount; much (greatly admired; greatly
greave n. (usu. in pl.) armour for the shin. [ME f. OF greve shin,
greave, of unkn. orig.]
grebe n. any diving bird of the family Podicipedidae, with a long
neck, lobed toes, and almost no tail. Ьlittle grebe a small
water bird of the grebe family, Tachybaptus ruficollis. [F
grЉbe, of unkn. orig.]
Grecian adj. (of architecture or facial outline) following Greek models
or ideals. ЬGrecian nose a straight nose that continues the
line of the forehead without a dip. [OF grecien or med.L
graecianus (unrecorded) f. L Graecia Greece]
Grecism var. of GRAECISM.
Grecize var. of GRAECIZE.
Greco- var. of GRAECO-.
greed n. an excessive desire, esp. for food or wealth. [back-form.
greedy adj. (greedier, greediest) 1 having or showing an excessive
appetite for food or drink. 2 wanting wealth or pleasure to
excess. 3 (foll. by for, or to + infin.) very keen or eager;
needing intensely (greedy for affection; greedy to learn).
ЬЬgreedily adv. greediness n. [OE gr‘dig f. Gmc]
Greek n. & adj. --n. 1 a a native or national of modern Greece; a
person of Greek descent. b a native or citizen of any of the
ancient States of Greece; a member of the Greek people. 2 the
Indo-European language of Greece. --adj. of Greece or its
people or language; Hellenic. ЬGreek (or Greek Orthodox) Church
the national Church of Greece (see also Orthodox Church). Greek
cross a cross with four equal arms. Greek fire hist. a
combustible composition for igniting enemy ships etc. Greek to
me colloq. incomprehensible to me. ЬЬGreekness n. [OE Grecas
(pl.) f. Gmc f. L Graecus Greek f. Gk Graikoi, the prehistoric
name of the Hellenes (in Aristotle)]
green adj., n., & v. --adj. 1 of the colour between blue and yellow
in the spectrum; coloured like grass, emeralds, etc. 2 a
covered with leaves or grass. b mild and without snow (a green
Christmas). 3 (of fruit etc. or wood) unripe or unseasoned. 4
not dried, smoked, or tanned. 5 inexperienced, na‹ve, gullible.
6 a (of the complexion) pale, sickly-hued. b jealous, envious.
7 young, flourishing. 8 not withered or worn out (a green old
age). 9 vegetable (green food; green salad). 10 (also Green)
concerned with or supporting protection of the environment as a
political principle. 11 archaic fresh; not healed (a green
wound). --n. 1 a green colour or pigment. 2 green clothes or
material (dressed in green). 3 a a piece of public or common
grassy land (village green). b a grassy area used for a special
purpose (putting-green; bowling-green). c Golf a putting-green.
d Golf a fairway. 4 (in pl.) green vegetables. 5 vigour,
youth, virility (in the green). 6 a green light. 7 a green
ball, piece, etc., in a game or sport. 8 (also Green) a member
or supporter of an environmentalist group or party. 9 (in pl.)
sl. sexual intercourse. 10 sl. low-grade marijuana. 11 sl.
money. 12 green foliage or growing plants. --v. 1 tr. & intr.
make or become green. 2 tr. sl. hoax; take in. Ьgreen belt an
area of open land round a city, designated for preservation.
Green Beret colloq. a British or American commando. green card
an international insurance document for motorists. green cheese
1 cheese coloured green with sage. 2 whey cheese. 3 unripened
cheese. Green Cloth (in full Board of Green Cloth) (in the UK)
the Lord Steward's department of the Royal Household. green
crop a crop used as fodder in a green state rather than as hay
etc. green drake the common mayfly. green earth a hydrous
silicate of potassium, iron, and other metals. green-eyed
jealous. the green-eyed monster jealousy. green fat part of a
turtle, highly regarded by gourmets. green-fee Golf a charge
for playing one round on a course. green fingers skill in
growing plants. green goose a goose killed under four months
old and eaten without stuffing. green in a person's eye a sign
of gullibility (do you see any green in my eye?). green leek
any of several green-faced Australian parakeets. green light 1
a signal to proceed on a road, railway, etc. 2 colloq.
permission to go ahead with a project. green linnet =
GREENFINCH. green manure growing plants ploughed into the soil
as fertilizer. green meat grass and green vegetables as food.
Green Paper (in the UK) a preliminary report of Government
proposals, for discussion. green plover a lapwing. green pound
the exchange rate for the pound for payments for agricultural
produce in the EEC. green revolution greatly increased crop
production in underdeveloped countries. green-room a room in a
theatre for actors and actresses who are off stage. green-stick
fracture a bone-fracture, esp. in children, in which one side of
the bone is broken and one only bent. green tea tea made from
steam-dried, not fermented, leaves. green thumb = green
fingers. green turtle a green-shelled sea turtle, Chelonia
mydas, highly regarded as food. green vitriol ferrous sulphate
crystals. ЬЬgreenish adj. greenly adv. greenness n. [OE
grene (adj. & n.), grenian (v.), f. Gmc, rel. to GROW]
greenback n. US 1 a US legal-tender note. 2 any of various green-backed
n. any fly of the genus Lucilia, esp. L. sericata which lays
eggs in the flesh of sheep.
greenery n. green foliage or growing plants.
greenfeed n. Austral. & NZ forage grown to be fed fresh to livestock.
n. (attrib.) (of a site, in terms of its potential development)
having no previous building development on it.
n. a finch, Carduelis chloris, with green and yellow plumage.
greenfly n. (pl. -flies) Brit. 1 a green aphid. 2 these collectively.
greengage n. a roundish green fine-flavoured variety of plum. [Sir W.
Gage d. 1727]
n. Brit. a retailer of fruit and vegetables.
n. (pl. -ies) Brit. 1 the business of a greengrocer. 2 goods
sold by a greengrocer.
greenhead n. 1 any biting fly of the genus Chrysops. 2 an Australian
ant, Chalcoponera metallica, with a painful sting.
n. 1 any of several tropical American trees, esp. Ocotea
rodiaei. 2 the hard greenish wood of one of these.
greenhorn n. an inexperienced or foolish person; a new recruit.
n. a light structure with the sides and roof mainly of glass,
for rearing delicate plants or hastening the growth of plants.
Ьgreenhouse effect the trapping of the sun's warmth in the lower
atmosphere of the earth caused by an increase in carbon dioxide,
which is more transparent to solar radiation than to the
reflected radiation from the earth. greenhouse gas any of
various gases, esp. carbon dioxide, that contribute to the
greening n. a variety of apple that is green when ripe. [prob. f. MDu.
groeninc (as GREEN)]
n. the keeper of a golf-course.
greenlet n. = VIREO.
greensand n. 1 a greenish kind of sandstone, often imperfectly cemented.
2 a stratum largely formed of this sandstone.
n. a large sandpiper, Tringa nebularia.
greensick adj. affected with chlorosis. ЬЬgreensickness n.
n. 1 a greenish igneous rock containing feldspar and
hornblende. 2 a variety of jade found in New Zealand, used for
tools, ornaments, etc.
n. vegetation; green vegetables.
n. 1 grassy turf. 2 an expanse of this.
greenweed n. (dyer's greenweed) a bushy plant, Genista tinctoria, with
deep yellow flowers.
Greenwich Mean Time
n. (also Greenwich Time) the local time on the meridian of
Greenwich, used as an international basis of time-reckoning.
[Greenwich in London, former site of the Royal Observatory]
greenwood n. a wood in summer, esp. as the scene of outlaw life.
greeny adj. greenish (greeny-yellow).
greenyard n. Brit. an enclosure for stray animals, a pound.
greet(1) v.tr. 1 address politely or welcomingly on meeting or arrival.
2 receive or acknowledge in a specified way (was greeted with
derision). 3 (of a sight, sound, etc.) become apparent to or
noticed by. ЬЬgreeter n. [OE gretan handle, attack, salute f.
greet(2) v.intr. Sc. weep. [OE gretan, greotan, of uncert. orig.]
greeting n. 1 the act or an instance of welcoming or addressing
politely. 2 words, gestures, etc., used to greet a person. 3
(often in pl.) an expression of goodwill. Ьgreetings card a
decorative card sent to convey greetings.
adj. 1 fond of company. 2 living in flocks or communities. 3
growing in clusters. ЬЬgregariously adv. gregariousness n. [L
gregarius f. grex gregis flock]
n. the calendar introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, as a
correction of the Julian calendar. [med.L Gregorianus f. LL
Gregorius f. Gk Gregorios Gregory]
n. plainsong ritual music, named after Pope Gregory I.
n. a reflecting telescope in which light reflected from a
secondary mirror passes through a hole in a primary mirror. [J.
Gregory, Sc. mathematician d. 1675, who devised it]
n. hist. a compound powder of rhubarb, magnesia, and ginger,
used as a laxative. [J. Gregory, Sc. physician d. 1822]
gremlin n. colloq. 1 an imaginary mischievous sprite regarded as
responsible for mechanical faults, esp. in aircraft. 2 any
similar cause of trouble. [20th c.: orig. unkn., but prob.
grenade n. 1 a small bomb thrown by hand (hand-grenade) or shot from a
rifle. 2 a glass receptacle containing chemicals which disperse
on impact, for testing drains, extinguishing fires, etc. [F f.
OF grenate and Sp. granada POMEGRANATE]
grenadier n. 1 a Brit. (Grenadiers or Grenadier Guards) the first
regiment of the royal household infantry. b hist. a soldier
armed with grenades. 2 any deep-sea fish of the family
Macrouridae, with a long tapering body and pointed tail, and
secreting luminous bacteria when disturbed. [F (as GRENADE)]
var. of GRANADILLA.
n. a French cordial syrup of pomegranates etc. [F f. grenade:
n. a dress-fabric of loosely woven silk or silk and wool. [F,
earlier grenade grained silk f. grenu grained]
n. the tendency for money of lower intrinsic value to circulate
more freely than money of higher intrinsic and equal nominal
value. [Sir T. Gresham, Engl. financier d. 1579]
adj. Zool. 1 walking. 2 adapted for walking. [mod.L
gressorius f. L gradi gress- walk]
grew past of GROW.
grey adj., n., & v. (US gray) --adj. 1 of a colour intermediate
between black and white, as of ashes or lead. 2 a (of the
weather etc.) dull, dismal; heavily overcast. b bleak,
depressing; (of a person) depressed. 3 a (of hair) turning
white with age etc. b (of a person) having grey hair. 4
anonymous, nondescript, unidentifiable. --n. 1 a a grey colour
or pigment. b grey clothes or material (dressed in grey). 2 a
cold sunless light. 3 a grey or white horse. --v.tr. & intr.
make or become grey. Ьgrey area 1 a situation or topic sharing
features of more than one category and not clearly attributable
to any one category. 2 S.Afr. an area where Black and Coloured
people live (usu. illicitly) alongside White. 3 Brit. an area
in economic decline. grey eminence = ђMINENCE GRISE. Grey
Friar a Franciscan friar. grey goose = GREYLAG. grey-hen the
female of the black grouse (cf. BLACKCOCK). grey matter 1 the
darker tissues of the brain and spinal cord consisting of
nerve-cell bodies and branching dendrites. 2 colloq.
intelligence. grey squirrel an American squirrel, Sciurus
carolinensis, brought to Europe in the 19th c. ЬЬgreyish adj.
greyly adv. greyness n. [OE gr‘g f. Gmc]
greybeard n. archaic 1 an old man. 2 a large stoneware jug for spirits.
3 Brit. clematis in seed.
greyhound n. 1 a dog of a tall slender breed having keen sight and
capable of high speed, used in racing and coursing. 2 this
breed. [OE grighund f. grieg bitch (unrecorded: cf. ON grey) +
hund dog, rel. to HOUND]
greylag n. (in full greylag goose) a wild goose, Anser anser, native to
Europe. [GREY + LAG(1) (because of its late migration)]
greywacke n. (US graywacke) Geol. a dark and coarse-grained sandstone,
usu. with an admixture of clay. [Anglicized f. G Grauwacke f.
grau grey: see WACKE]
grid n. 1 a framework of spaced parallel bars; a grating. 2 a
system of numbered squares printed on a map and forming the
basis of map references. 3 a network of lines, electric-power
connections, gas-supply lines, etc. 4 a pattern of lines
marking the starting-places on a motor-racing track. 5 the wire
network between the filament and the anode of a thermionic valve
etc. 6 an arrangement of town streets in a rectangular pattern.
Ьgrid bias Electr. a fixed voltage applied between the cathode
and the control grid of a thermionic valve which determines its
operating conditions. ЬЬgridded adj. [back-form. f. GRIDIRON]
griddle n. & v. --n. 1 = GIRDLE(2). 2 a miner's wire-bottomed sieve.
--v.tr. 1 cook with a griddle; grill. 2 sieve with a griddle.
[ME f. OF gredil, gridil gridiron ult. f. L craticula dimin. of
cratis hurdle; cf. GRATE(2), GRILL(1)]
gridiron n. 1 a cooking utensil of metal bars for broiling or grilling.
2 a frame of parallel beams for supporting a ship in dock. 3 US
a football field (with parallel lines marking out the area of
play). 4 Theatr. a plank structure over a stage supporting the
mechanism for drop-scenes etc. 5 = GRID 6. [ME gredire, var.
of gredil GRIDDLE, later assoc. with IRON]
grief n. 1 deep or intense sorrow or mourning. 2 the cause of this.
Ьcome to grief meet with disaster; fail. good (or great) grief!
an exclamation of surprise, alarm, etc. [ME f. AF gref, OF
grief f. grever GRIEVE(1)]
grievance n. a real or fancied cause for complaint. [ME, = injury, f. OF
grevance (as GRIEF)]
grieve(1) v. 1 tr. cause grief or great distress to. 2 intr. suffer
grief, esp. at another's death. ЬЬgriever n. [ME f. OF grever
ult. f. L gravare f. gravis heavy]
grieve(2) n. Sc. a farm-bailiff; an overseer. [OE groe.fa: cf.
grievous adj. 1 (of pain etc.) severe. 2 causing grief or suffering. 3
injurious. 4 flagrant, heinous. Ьgrievous bodily harm Law
serious injury inflicted intentionally on a person.
ЬЬgrievously adv. grievousness n. [ME f. OF grevos (as
griffin n. (also gryphon) a fabulous creature with an eagle's head and
wings and a lion's body. [ME f. OF grifoun ult. f. LL gryphus
f. L gryps f. Gk grups]
griffon n. 1 a a dog of a small terrier-like breed with coarse or
smooth hair. b this breed. 2 (in full griffon vulture) a large
vulture, Gyps fulvus. 3 = GRIFFIN. [F (in sense 1) or var. of
grig n. 1 a small eel. 2 a grasshopper or cricket. Ьmerry (or
lively) as a grig full of fun; extravagantly lively. [ME, orig.
= dwarf: orig. unkn.]
grill(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a a device on a cooker for radiating heat
downwards. b = GRIDIRON(1). 2 a dish of food cooked on a
grill. 3 (in full grill room) a restaurant serving grilled
food. --v. 1 tr. & intr. cook or be cooked under a grill or on
a gridiron. 2 tr. & intr. subject or be subjected to extreme
heat, esp. from the sun. 3 tr. subject to severe questioning or
interrogation. ЬЬgriller n. grilling n. (in sense 3 of v.).
[F gril (n.), griller (v.), f. OF forms of GRILLE]
grill(2) var. of GRILLE.
grillage n. a heavy framework of cross-timbering or metal beams forming
a foundation for building on difficult ground. [F (as GRILLE)]
grille n. (also grill) 1 a grating or latticed screen, used as a
partition or to allow discreet vision. 2 a metal grid
protecting the radiator of a motor vehicle. [F f. OF gra‹lle f.
med.L graticula, craticula: see GRIDDLE]
grilse n. a young salmon that has returned to fresh water from the sea
for the first time. [ME: orig. unkn.]
grim adj. (grimmer, grimmest) 1 of a stern or forbidding appearance.
2 harsh, merciless, severe. 3 ghastly, joyless, sinister (has a
grim truth in it). 4 unpleasant, unattractive. Ьlike grim
death with great determination. ЬЬgrimly adv. grimness n. [OE
grimace n. & v. --n. a distortion of the face made in disgust etc. or
to amuse. --v.intr. make a grimace. ЬЬgrimacer n. [F f. Sp.
grimazo f. grima fright]
grimalkin n. archaic (esp. in fiction) 1 an old she-cat. 2 a spiteful
old woman. [GREY + Malkin dimin. of the name Matilda]
grime n. & v. --n. soot or dirt ingrained in a surface, esp. of
buildings or the skin. --v.tr. blacken with grime; befoul.
[orig. as verb: f. MLG & MDu.]
grimy adj. (grimier, grimiest) covered with grime; dirty. ЬЬgrimily
adv. griminess n.
grin v. & n. --v. (grinned, grinning) 1 intr. a smile broadly,
showing the teeth. b make a forced, unrestrained, or stupid
smile. 2 tr. express by grinning (grinned his satisfaction).
--n. the act or action of grinning. Ьgrin and bear it take pain
or misfortune stoically. ЬЬgrinner n. grinningly adv. [OE
grennian f. Gmc]
grind v. & n. --v. (past and past part. ground) 1 a tr. reduce to
small particles or powder by crushing esp. by passing through a
mill. b intr. (of a mill, machine, etc.) move with a crushing
action. 2 a tr. reduce, sharpen, or smooth by friction. b tr.
& intr. rub or rub together gratingly (grind one's teeth). 3
tr. (often foll. by down) oppress; harass with exactions
(grinding poverty). 4 intr. a (often foll. by away) work or
study hard. b (foll. by out) produce with effort (grinding out
verses). c (foll. by on) (of a sound) continue gratingly or
monotonously. 5 tr. turn the handle of e.g. a coffee-mill,
barrel-organ, etc. 6 intr. sl. (of a dancer) rotate the hips.
7 intr. coarse sl. have sexual intercourse. --n. 1 the act or
an instance of grinding. 2 colloq. hard dull work; a laborious
task (the daily grind). 3 the size of ground particles. 4 sl.
a dancer's rotary movement of the hips. 5 coarse sl. an act of
sexual intercourse. Ьgrind to a halt stop laboriously. ground
glass 1 glass made non-transparent by grinding etc. 2 glass
ground to a powder. ЬЬgrindingly adv. [OE grindan, of unkn.
grinder n. 1 a person or thing that grinds, esp. a machine (often in
comb.: coffee-grinder; organ-grinder). 2 a molar tooth.
n. 1 a thick revolving disc used for grinding, sharpening, and
polishing. 2 a kind of stone used for this. Ьkeep one's nose
to the grindstone work hard and continuously.
gringo n. (pl. -os) colloq. a foreigner, esp. a British or N.
American person, in a Spanish-speaking country. [Sp., =
grip v. & n. --v. (gripped, gripping) 1 a tr. grasp tightly; take a
firm hold of. b intr. take a firm hold, esp. by friction. 2
tr. (of a feeling or emotion) deeply affect (a person) (was
gripped by fear). 3 tr. compel the attention or interest of (a
gripping story). --n. 1 a a firm hold; a tight grasp or clasp.
b a manner of grasping or holding. 2 the power of holding
attention. 3 a mental or intellectual understanding or mastery.
b effective control of a situation or one's behaviour etc.
(lose one's grip). 4 a a part of a machine that grips or holds
something. b a part or attachment by which a tool, implement,
weapon, etc., is held in the hand. 5 = HAIRGRIP. 6 a
travelling bag. 7 an assistant in a theatre, film studio, etc.
8 Austral. sl. a job or occupation. Ьcome (or get) to grips
with approach purposefully; begin to deal with. in the grip of
dominated or affected by (esp. an adverse circumstance or
unpleasant sensation). ЬЬgripper n. grippingly adv. [OE
gripe, gripa handful (as GRIPE)]
gripe v. & n. --v. 1 intr. colloq. complain, esp. peevishly. 2 tr.
affect with gastric or intestinal pain. 3 tr. archaic clutch,
grip. 4 Naut. a tr. secure with gripes. b intr. turn to face
the wind in spite of the helm. --n. 1 (usu. in pl.) gastric or
intestinal pain; colic. 2 colloq. a a complaint. b the act of
griping. 3 a grip or clutch. 4 (in pl.) Naut. lashings
securing a boat in its place. ЬGripe Water propr. a
carminative solution to relieve colic and stomach ailments in
infants. ЬЬgriper n. gripingly adv. [OE gripan f. Gmc: cf.
grippe n. archaic or colloq. influenza. [F f. gripper seize]
grisaille n. 1 a method of painting in grey monochrome, often to imitate
sculpture. 2 a painting or stained-glass window of this kind.
[F f. gris grey]
n. an antibiotic used against fungal infections of the hair and
skin. [mod.L griseofulvum f. med.L griseus grey + L fulvus
grisette n. a young working-class Frenchwoman. [F, orig. a grey
dress-material, f. gris grey]
grisly adj. (grislier, grisliest) causing horror, disgust, or fear.
ЬЬgrisliness n. [OE grislic terrifying]
grison n. any weasel-like mammal of the genus Galictis, with dark fur
and a white stripe across the forehead. [F, app. f. grison
grist n. 1 corn to grind. 2 malt crushed for brewing. Ьgrist to the
(or a person's) mill a source of profit or advantage. [OE f.
Gmc, rel. to GRIND]
gristle n. tough flexible tissue in vertebrates; cartilage. ЬЬgristly
adj. [OE gristle]
grit n. & v. --n. 1 particles of stone or sand, esp. as causing
discomfort, clogging machinery, etc. 2 coarse sandstone. 3
colloq. pluck, endurance; strength of character. --v.
(gritted, gritting) 1 tr. spread grit on (icy roads etc.). 2
tr. clench (the teeth). 3 intr. make or move with a grating
sound. ЬЬgritter n. gritty adj. (grittier, grittiest).
grittily adv. grittiness n. [OE greot f. Gmc: cf. GRITS,
grits n.pl. 1 coarsely ground grain, esp. oatmeal. 2 oats that have
been husked but not ground. [OE grytt(e): cf. GRIT, GROATS]
grizzle v.intr. Brit. colloq. 1 (esp. of a child) cry fretfully. 2
complain whiningly. ЬЬgrizzler n. grizzly adj. [19th c.:
grizzled adj. having, or streaked with, grey hair. [grizzle grey f. OF
grisel f. gris grey]
grizzly adj. & n. --adj. (grizzlier, grizzliest) grey, greyish,
grey-haired. --n. (pl. -ies) (in full grizzly bear) a large
variety of brown bear, found in N. America and N. Russia.
groan v. & n. --v. 1 a intr. make a deep sound expressing pain,
grief, or disapproval. b tr. utter with groans. 2 intr.
complain inarticulately. 3 intr. (usu. foll. by under, beneath,
with) be loaded or oppressed. --n. the sound made in groaning.
Ьgroan inwardly be distressed. ЬЬgroaner n. groaningly adv.
[OE granian f. Gmc, rel. to GRIN]
groat n. hist. 1 a silver coin worth four old pence. 2 archaic a
small sum (don't care a groat). [ME f. MDu. groot, orig. =
great, i.e. thick (penny): cf. GROSCHEN]
grocer n. a dealer in food and household provisions. [ME & AF
grosser, orig. one who sells in the gross, f. OF grossier f.
med.L grossarius (as GROSS)]
grocery n. (pl. -ies) 1 a grocer's trade or shop. 2 (in pl.)
provisions, esp. food, sold by a grocer.
grockle n. dial. & sl. a visitor or holiday-maker, esp. from the North
or Midlands to SW England. [20th c.: orig. uncert.]
grog n. 1 a drink of spirit (orig. rum) and water. 2 Austral. & NZ
colloq. alcoholic liquor, esp. beer. [said to be from 'Old
Grog', the reputed nickname (f. his GROGRAM cloak) of Admiral
Vernon, who in 1740 first had diluted instead of neat rum served
out to sailors]
groggy adj. (groggier, groggiest) incapable or unsteady from being
dazed or semi-conscious. ЬЬgroggily adv. grogginess n.
grogram n. a coarse fabric of silk, mohair, and wool, or a mixture of
these, often stiffened with gum. [F gros grain coarse grain (as
groin(1) n. & v. --n. 1 the depression between the belly and the thigh.
2 Archit. a an edge formed by intersecting vaults. b an arch
supporting a vault. --v.tr. Archit. build with groins. [ME
grynde, perh. f. OE grynde depression]
groin(2) US var. of GROYNE.
grommet n. (also grummet) 1 a metal, plastic, or rubber eyelet placed
in a hole to protect or insulate a rope or cable etc. passed
through it. 2 a tube passed through the eardrum in surgery to
make a communication with the middle ear. [obs. F grommette f.
gourmer to curb, of unkn. orig.]
gromwell n. any of various plants of the genus Lithospermum, with hard
seeds formerly used in medicine. [ME f. OF gromil, prob. f.
med.L gruinum milium (unrecorded) crane's millet]
groom n. & v. --n. 1 a person employed to take care of horses. 2 =
BRIDEGROOM. 3 Brit. Mil. any of certain officers of the Royal
Household. --v.tr. 1 a curry or tend (a horse). b give a neat
appearance to (a person etc.). 2 (of an ape or monkey etc.)
clean and comb the fur (of its fellow) with the fingers. 3
prepare or train (a person) for a particular purpose or activity
(was groomed for the top job). [ME, orig. = boy: orig. unkn.]
groove n. & v. --n. 1 a a channel or hollow, esp. one made to guide
motion or receive a corresponding ridge. b a spiral track cut
in a gramophone record. 2 an established routine or habit, esp.
a monotonous one. --v. 1 tr. make a groove or grooves in. 2
intr. sl. a enjoy oneself. b (often foll. by with) make
progress; get on well. °Often with ref. to popular music or
jazz; now largely disused in general contexts. Ьin the groove
sl. 1 doing or performing well. 2 fashionable. [ME, =
mine-shaft, f. obs. Du. groeve furrow f. Gmc]
groovy adj. (groovier, grooviest) 1 sl. fashionable and exciting;
enjoyable, excellent. 2 of or like a groove. ЬЬgroovily adv.
grope v. & n. --v. 1 intr. (usu. foll. by for) feel about or search
blindly or uncertainly with the hands. 2 intr. (foll. by for,
after) search mentally (was groping for the answer). 3 tr. feel
(one's way) towards something. 4 tr. sl. fondle clumsily for
sexual pleasure. --n. the process or an instance of groping.
ЬЬgroper n. gropingly adv. [OE grapian f. Gmc]
groper n. esp. Austral. & NZ = GROUPER. [var. of GROUPER]
grosbeak n. any of various finches of the families Cardinalidae and
Fringillidae, having stout conical bills and usu. brightly
coloured plumage. [F grosbec (as GROSS)]
groschen n. 1 an Austrian coin and monetary unit, one hundredth of a
schilling. 2 colloq. a German 10-pfennig piece. 3 hist. a
small German silver coin. [G f. MHG gros, grosse f. med.L
(denarius) grossus thick (penny): cf. GROAT]
grosgrain n. a corded fabric of silk etc. [F, = coarse grain (as GROSS,
n. cross-stitch embroidery on canvas. [F (as GROSS, POINT)]
gross adj., v., & n. --adj. 1 overfed, bloated; repulsively fat. 2
(of a person, manners, or morals) noticeably coarse, unrefined,
or indecent. 3 flagrant; conspicuously wrong (gross
negligence). 4 total; without deductions; not net (gross
tonnage; gross income). 5 a luxuriant, rank. b thick, solid,
dense. 6 (of the senses etc.) dull; lacking sensitivity.
--v.tr. produce or earn as gross profit or income. --n. (pl.
same) an amount equal to twelve dozen. Ьby the gross in large
quantities; wholesale. gross domestic product the total value
of goods produced and services provided in a country in one
year. gross national product the gross domestic product plus
the total of net income from abroad. gross out US sl. disgust,
esp. by repulsive or obscene behaviour. gross up increase (a
net amount) to its value before deductions. ЬЬgrossly adv.
grossness n. [ME f. OF gros grosse large f. LL grossus: (n.) f.
F grosse douzaine large dozen]
grot n. & adj. Brit. sl. --n. rubbish, junk. --adj. dirty .
[back-form. f. GROTTY]
grotesque adj. & n. --adj. 1 comically or repulsively distorted;
monstrous, unnatural. 2 incongruous, ludicrous, absurd. --n.
1 a decorative form interweaving human and animal features. 2 a
comically distorted figure or design. 3 Printing a family of
sanserif typefaces. ЬЬgrotesquely adv. grotesqueness n.
grotesquerie n. [earlier crotesque f. F crotesque f. It.
grottesca grotto-like (painting etc.) fem. of grottesco (as
grotto n. (pl. -oes or -os) 1 a small picturesque cave. 2 an
artificial ornamental cave, e.g. in a park or large garden.
ЬЬgrottoed adj. [It. grotta ult. f. L crypta f. Gk krupte
grotty adj. (grottier, grottiest) Brit. sl. unpleasant, dirty,
shabby, unattractive. ЬЬgrottiness n. [shortening of GROTESQUE
grouch v. & n. colloq. --v.intr. grumble. --n. 1 a discontented
person. 2 a fit of grumbling or the sulks. 3 a cause of
discontent. [var. of grutch: see GRUDGE]
ground(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a the surface of the earth, esp. as contrasted
with the air around it. b a part of this specified in some way
(low ground). 2 the substance of the earth's surface; soil,
earth (stony ground; dug deep into the ground). 3 a a position,
area, or distance on the earth's surface. b the extent of
activity etc. achieved or of a subject dealt with (the book
covers a lot of ground). 4 (often in pl.) a foundation, motive,
or reason (there is ground for concern; there are grounds for
believing; excused on the grounds of ill-health). 5 an area of
a special kind or designated for special use (often in comb.:
cricket-ground; fishing-grounds). 6 (in pl.) an area of usu.
enclosed land attached to a house etc. 7 an area or basis for
consideration, agreement, etc. (common ground; on firm ground).
8 a (in painting) the prepared surface giving the predominant
colour or tone. b (in embroidery, ceramics, etc.) the
undecorated surface. 9 (in full ground bass) Mus. a short theme
in the bass constantly repeated with the upper parts of the
music varied. 10 (in pl.) solid particles, esp. of coffee,
forming a residue. 11 Electr. = EARTH. 12 the bottom of the
sea (the ship touched ground). 13 Brit. the floor of a room
etc. 14 a piece of wood fixed to a wall as a base for boards,
plaster, or joinery. 15 (attrib.) a (of animals) living on or
in the ground; (of fish) living at the bottom of water; (of
plants) dwarfish or trailing. b relating to or concerned with
the ground (ground staff). --v. 1 tr. refuse authority for (a
pilot or an aircraft) to fly. 2 a tr. run (a ship) aground;
strand. b intr. (of a ship) run aground. 3 tr. (foll. by in)
instruct thoroughly (in a subject). 4 tr. (often as grounded
adj.) (foll. by on) base (a principle, conclusion, etc.) on. 5
tr. Electr. = EARTH v. 6 intr. alight on the ground. 7 tr.
place or lay (esp. weapons) on the ground. Ьbreak new (or
fresh) ground treat a subject previously not dealt with. cut
the ground from under a person's feet anticipate and pre-empt a
person's arguments, plans, etc. down to the ground Brit.
colloq. thoroughly; in every respect. fall to the ground (of a
plan etc.) fail. gain (or make) ground 1 advance steadily; make
progress. 2 (foll. by on) catch (a person) up. get in on the
ground floor become part of an enterprise in its early stages.
get off the ground colloq. make a successful start. give (or
lose) ground 1 retreat, decline. 2 lose the advantage or one's
position in an argument, contest, etc. go to ground 1 (of a fox
etc.) enter its earth or burrow etc. 2 (of a person) become
inaccessible for a prolonged period. ground-bait bait thrown to
the bottom of a fishing-ground. ground control the personnel
directing the landing etc. of aircraft or spacecraft. ground
cover plants covering the surface of the earth, esp. low-growing
spreading plants that inhibit the growth of weeds. ground elder
a garden weed, Aegopodium podagraria, spreading by means of
underground stems. ground floor the floor of a building at
ground level. ground frost frost on the surface of the ground
or in the top layer of soil. ground level 1 the level of the
ground; the ground floor. 2 Physics the lowest energy state of
an atom etc. ground-plan 1 the plan of a building at ground
level. 2 the general outline of a scheme. ground-rent rent for
land leased for building. ground rule a basic principle.
ground speed an aircraft's speed relative to the ground.
ground-squirrel 1 a squirrel-like rodent, e.g. a chipmunk,
gopher, etc. 2 any squirrel of the genus Spermophilus living in
burrows. ground staff the non-flying personnel of an airport or
airbase. ground state Physics = ground level 2. ground stroke
Tennis a stroke played near the ground after the ball has
bounced. ground swell 1 a heavy sea caused by a distant or past
storm or an earthquake. 2 an increasingly forceful presence
(esp. of public opinion). ground zero the point on the ground
under an exploding (usu. nuclear) bomb. hold one's ground not
retreat or give way. on the ground at the point of production
or operation; in practical conditions. on one's own ground on
one's own territory or subject; on one's own terms. thin on the
ground not numerous. work (or run etc.) oneself into the ground
colloq. work etc. to the point of exhaustion. ЬЬgrounder n.
[OE grund f. Gmc]
ground(2) past and past part. of GRIND.
groundage n. Brit. duty levied on a ship entering a port or lying on a
groundhog n. 1 = AARDVARK. 2 US a marmot; a woodchuck.
grounding n. basic training or instruction in a subject.
adj. without motive or foundation. ЬЬgroundlessly adv.
groundlessness n. [OE grundleas (as GROUND(1), -LESS)]
n. 1 a a creeping or dwarf plant. b an animal that lives near
the ground, at the bottom of a lake, etc., esp. a ground-fish.
2 a person on the ground as opposed to one in an aircraft. 3 a
spectator or reader of inferior taste (with ref. to Shakesp.
Hamlet III. ii. 11).
groundnut n. 1 Brit. = PEANUT. 2 a a N. American wild bean. b its
groundsel n. any composite plant of the genus Senecio, esp. S. vulgaris,
used as a food for cage-birds. [OE grundeswylige, gund‘swelgi‘
(perh. = pus-absorber f. gund pus, with ref. to use for
n. a waterproof sheet for spreading on the ground, esp. in a
n. (pl. -men) a person who maintains a sports ground.
n. water found in soil or in pores, crevices, etc., in rock.
n. 1 preliminary or basic work. 2 a foundation or basis.
group n. & v. --n. 1 a number of persons or things located close
together, or considered or classed together. 2 (attrib.)
concerning or done by a group (a group photograph; group sex).
3 a number of people working together or sharing beliefs, e.g.
part of a political party. 4 a number of commercial companies
under common ownership. 5 an ensemble playing popular music. 6
a division of an air force or air-fleet. 7 Math. a set of
elements, together with an associative binary operation, which
contains an inverse for each element and an identity element. 8
Chem. a a set of ions or radicals giving a characteristic
qualitative reaction. b a set of elements having similar
properties. c a combination of atoms having a recognizable
identity in a number of compounds. --v. 1 tr. & intr. form or
be formed into a group. 2 tr. (often foll. by with) place in a
group or groups. 3 tr. form (colours, figures, etc.) into a
well-arranged and harmonious whole. 4 tr. classify. Ьgroup
captain an RAF officer next below air commodore. group dynamics
Psychol. the field of social psychology concerned with the
nature, development, and interactions of human groups. group
practice a medical practice in which several doctors are
associated. group therapy therapy in which patients with a
similar condition are brought together to assist one another
psychologically. group velocity the speed of travel of the
energy of a wave or wave-group. ЬЬgroupage n. [F groupe f. It.
gruppo f. Gmc, rel. to CROP]
grouper n. any marine fish of the family Serranidae, with heavy body,
big head, and wide mouth. [Port. garupa, prob. f. native name
in S. America]
groupie n. sl. an ardent follower of touring pop groups, esp. a young
woman seeking sexual relations with them.
grouping n. a process or system of allocation to groups.
grouse(1) n. (pl. same) 1 any of various game-birds of the family
Tetraonidae, with a plump body and feathered legs. 2 the flesh
of a grouse used as food. [16th c.: orig. uncert.]
grouse(2) v. & n. colloq. --v.intr. grumble or complain pettily. --n. a
complaint. ЬЬgrouser n. [19th c.: orig. unkn.]
grout(1) n. & v. --n. a thin fluid mortar for filling gaps in tiling
etc. --v.tr. provide or fill with grout. ЬЬgrouter n. [perh.
f. GROUT(2), but cf. F dial. grouter grout a wall]
grout(2) n. sediment, dregs. [OE grut, rel. to GRITS, GROATS]
grouter n. Austral. sl. an unfair advantage. [20th c.: orig.
grove n. a small wood or group of trees. ЬЬgrovy adj. [OE graf,
rel. to gr‘fa brushwood]
grovel v.intr. (grovelled, grovelling; US groveled, groveling) 1
behave obsequiously in seeking favour or forgiveness. 2 lie
prone in abject humility. ЬЬgroveller n. grovelling adj.
grovellingly adv. [back-form. f. obs. grovelling (adv.) f.
gruf face down f. on grufe f. ON grЈfu, later taken as pres.
grow v. (past grew; past part. grown) 1 intr. increase in size,
height, quantity, degree, or in any way regarded as measurable
(e.g. authority or reputation) (often foll. by in: grew in
stature). 2 intr. a develop or exist as a living plant or
natural product. b develop in a specific way or direction
(began to grow sideways). c germinate, sprout; spring up. 3
intr. be produced; come naturally into existence; arise. 4
intr. (as grown adj.) fully matured; adult. 5 intr. a become
gradually (grow rich; grow less). b (foll. by to + infin.) come
by degrees (grew to like it). 6 intr. (foll. by into) a become,
having grown or developed (the acorn has grown into a tall oak;
will grow into a fine athlete). b become large enough for or
suited to (will grow into the coat; grew into her new job). 7
intr. (foll. by on) become gradually more favoured by. 8 tr. a
produce (plants, fruit, wood, etc.) by cultivation. b bring
forth. c cause (a beard etc.) to develop. 9 tr. (in passive;
foll. by over, up) be covered with a growth. Ьgrowing bag a bag
containing peat-based potting compost in which plants may be
grown. growing pains 1 early difficulties in the development of
an enterprise etc. 2 neuralgic pain in children's legs due to
fatigue etc. grown-up adj. adult. --n. an adult person. grow
out of 1 become too large to wear (a garment). 2 become too
mature to retain (a childish habit etc.). 3 be the result or
development of. grow together coalesce. grow up 1 a advance to
maturity. b (esp. in imper.) begin to behave sensibly. 2 (of a
custom) arise, become common. ЬЬgrowable adj. [OE growan f.
Gmc, rel. to GRASS, GREEN]
grower n. 1 (often in comb.) a person growing produce (fruit-grower).
2 a plant that grows in a specified way (a fast grower).
growl v. & n. --v. 1 intr. a (often foll. by at) (esp. of a dog)
make a low guttural sound, usu. of anger. b murmur angrily. 2
intr. rumble. 3 tr. (often foll. by out) utter with a growl.
--n. 1 a growling sound, esp. made by a dog. 2 an angry
murmur; complaint. 3 a rumble. ЬЬgrowlingly adv. [prob.
growler n. 1 a person or thing that growls, esp. sl. a dog. 2 a small
grown past part. of GROW.
growth n. 1 the act or process of growing. 2 an increase in size or
value. 3 something that has grown or is growing. 4 Med. a
morbid formation. 5 the cultivation of produce. 6 a crop or
yield of grapes. Ьfull growth the size ultimately attained;
maturity. growth hormone Biol. a substance which stimulates
the growth of a plant or animal. growth industry an industry
that is developing rapidly. growth stock etc. stock etc. that
tends to increase in capital value rather than yield high
groyne n. (US groin) a timber framework or low broad wall built out
from a shore to check erosion of a beach. [dial. groin snout
f. OF groign f. LL grunium pig's snout]
grub n. & v. --n. 1 the larva of an insect, esp. of a beetle. 2
colloq. food. --v. (grubbed, grubbing) 1 tr. & intr. dig
superficially. 2 tr. a clear (the ground) of roots and stumps.
b clear away (roots etc.). 3 tr. (foll. by up, out) a fetch by
digging (grubbing up weeds). b extract (information etc.) by
searching in books etc. 4 intr. search, rummage. 5 intr.
(foll. by on, along, away) toil, plod. Ьgrub-screw a small
headless screw, esp. used to attach a handle etc. to a spindle.
ЬЬgrubber n. (also in comb.). [ME, (v.) perh. corresp. to OE
grybban (unrecorded) f. Gmc]
grubby adj. (grubbier, grubbiest) 1 dirty, grimy, slovenly. 2 of or
infested with grubs. ЬЬgrubbily adv. grubbiness n.
grubstake n. & v. US colloq. --n. material or provisions supplied to an
enterprise in return for a share in the resulting profits (orig.
in prospecting for ore). --v.tr. provide with a grubstake.
n. (often attrib.) the world or class of literary hacks and
impoverished authors. [name of a street (later Milton St.) in
Moorgate, London, inhabited by these in the 17th c.]
grudge n. & v. --n. a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment,
esp. one due to an insult or injury (bears a grudge against me).
--v.tr. 1 be resentfully unwilling to give, grant, or allow (a
thing). 2 (foll. by verbal noun or to + infin.) be reluctant to
do (a thing) (grudged paying so much). ЬЬgrudger n. [ME grutch
f. OF grouchier murmur, of unkn. orig.]
grudging adj. reluctant; not willing. ЬЬgrudgingly adv. grudgingness
gruel n. a liquid food of oatmeal etc. boiled in milk or water
chiefly for invalids. [ME f. OF, ult. f. Gmc, rel. to GROUT(1)]
gruelling adj. & n. (US grueling) --adj. extremely demanding, severe, or
tiring. --n. a harsh or exhausting experience; punishment.
ЬЬgruellingly adv. [GRUEL as verb, = exhaust, punish]
gruesome adj. horrible, grisly, disgusting. ЬЬgruesomely adv.
gruesomeness n. [Sc. grue to shudder f. Scand. + -SOME(1)]
gruff adj. 1 a (of a voice) low and harsh. b (of a person) having a
gruff voice. 2 surly, laconic, rough-mannered. ЬЬgruffly adv.
gruffness n. [Du., MLG grof coarse f. WG (rel. to ROUGH)]
grumble v. & n. --v. 1 intr. a (often foll. by at, about, over)
complain peevishly. b be discontented. 2 intr. a utter a dull
inarticulate sound; murmur, growl faintly. b rumble. 3 tr.
(often foll. by out) utter complainingly. 4 intr. (as grumbling
adj.) colloq. giving intermittent discomfort without causing
illness (a grumbling appendix). --n. 1 a complaint. 2 a a
dull inarticulate sound; a murmur. b a rumble. ЬЬgrumbler n.
grumbling adj. grumblingly adv. grumbly adj. [obs. grumme:
cf. MDu. grommen, MLG grommelen, f. Gmc]
grummet var. of GROMMET.
grump n. colloq. 1 a grumpy person. 2 (in pl.) a fit of sulks.
ЬЬgrumpish adj. grumpishly adv. [imit.]
Grundy n. (pl. -ies) (in full Mrs Grundy) a person embodying
conventional propriety and prudery. ЬЬGrundyism n. [a person
repeatedly mentioned in T. Morton's comedy Speed the Plough
grunion n. a slender Californian marine fish, Leuresthes tenuis, that
comes ashore to spawn. [prob. f. Sp. gru¤ўn grunter]
grunt n. & v. --n. 1 a low guttural sound made by a pig. 2 a sound
resembling this. 3 any fish of the genus Haemulon that grunts
when caught. --v. 1 intr. (of a pig) make a grunt or grunts.
2 intr. (of a person) make a low inarticulate sound resembling
this, esp. to express discontent, dissent, fatigue, etc. 3 tr.
utter with a grunt. [OE grunnettan, prob. orig. imit.]
grunter n. 1 a person or animal that grunts, esp. a pig. 2 a grunting
fish, esp. = GRUNT n. 3.
Grunth var. of GRANTH.
GruyЉre n. a firm pale cheese made from cow's milk. [GruyЉre, a
district in Switzerland where it was first made]
gryphon var. of GRIFFIN.
grysbok n. any small antelope of the genus Raphicerus, native to S.
Africa. [S.Afr. Du. f. Du. grijs grey + bok BUCK(1)]
G-string n. 1 Mus. a string sounding the note G. 2 (also gee-string) a
narrow strip of cloth etc. covering only the genitals and
attached to a string round the waist, as worn esp. by striptease
G-suit n. a garment with inflatable pressurized pouches, worn by
pilots and astronauts to enable them to withstand high
acceleration. [g = gravity + SUIT]
guacamole n. a dish of mashed avocado pears mixed with chopped onion,
tomatoes, chilli peppers, and seasoning. [Amer. Sp. f. Nahuatl
ahuacamolli f. ahuacatl avocado + molli sauce]
guacharo n. (pl. -os) a nocturnal bird, Steatornis caripensis, native
to S. America and feeding on fruit. Also called oil-bird.
guaiac var. of GUAIACUM 2.
guaiacum n. 1 any tree of the genus Guaiacum, native to tropical
America. 2 (also guaiac) a the hard dense oily timber of some
of these, esp. G. officinale. Also called LIGNUM VITAE. b the
resin from this used medicinally. [mod.L f. Sp. guayaco of
guan n. any of various game-birds of the family Cracidae, of
tropical America. [prob. f. a native name]
guanaco n. (pl. -os) a llama-like camelid, Lama guanicoe, with a coat
of soft pale-brown hair used for wool. [Quechua huanaco]
guanine n. Biochem. a purine derivative found in all living organisms
as a component base of DNA and RNA. [GUANO + -INE(4)]
guano n. & v. (pl. -os) --n. 1 the excrement of sea-fowl, found
esp. in the islands off Peru and used as manure. 2 an
artificial manure, esp. that made from fish. --v.tr. (-oes,
-oed) fertilize with guano. [Sp. f. Quechua huanu dung]
Guarani n. 1 a a member of a S. American Indian people. b the language
of this people. 2 (guarani) the monetary unit of Paraguay.
guarantee n. & v. --n. 1 a a formal promise or assurance, esp. that an
obligation will be fulfilled or that something is of a specified
quality and durability. b a document giving such an
undertaking. 2 = GUARANTY. 3 a person making a guaranty or
giving a security. --v.tr. (guarantees, guaranteed) 1 a give
or serve as a guarantee for; answer for the due fulfilment of (a
contract etc.) or the genuineness of (an article). b assure the
permanence etc. of. c provide with a guarantee. 2 (foll. by
that + clause, or to + infin.) give a promise or assurance. 3 a
(foll. by to) secure the possession of (a thing) for a person.
b make (a person) secure against a risk or in possession of a
thing. Ьguarantee fund a sum pledged as a contingent indemnity
for loss. [earlier garante, perh. f. Sp. garante = F garant
WARRANT: later infl. by F garantie guaranty]
guarantor n. a person who gives a guarantee or guaranty.
guaranty n. (pl. -ies) 1 a written or other undertaking to answer for the
payment of a debt or for the performance of an obligation by
another person liable in the first instance. 2 a thing serving
as security for a guaranty. [AF guarantie, var. of warantie
guard v. & n. --v. 1 tr. (often foll. by from, against) watch over
and defend or protect from harm. 2 tr. keep watch by (a door
etc.) so as to control entry or exit. 3 tr. supervise
(prisoners etc.) and prevent from escaping. 4 tr. provide
(machinery) with a protective device. 5 tr. keep (thoughts or
speech) in check. 6 tr. provide with safeguards. 7 intr.
(foll. by against) take precautions. 8 tr. (in various games)
protect (a piece, card, etc.) with set moves. --n. 1 a state
of vigilance or watchfulness. 2 a person who protects or keeps
watch. 3 a body of soldiers etc. serving to protect a place or
person; an escort. 4 US a prison warder. 5 a part of an army
detached for some purpose (advance guard). 6 (in pl.) (usu.
Guards) any of various bodies of troops nominally employed to
guard a monarch. 7 a thing that protects or defends. 8 (often
in comb.) a device fitted to a machine, vehicle, weapon, etc.,
to prevent injury or accident to the user (fire-guard). 9 Brit.
an official who rides with and is in general charge of a train.
10 in some sports: a a protective or defensive player. b a
defensive posture or motion. Ьbe on (or keep or stand) guard
(of a sentry etc.) keep watch. guard cell Bot. either of a
pair of cells surrounding the stomata in plants. guard-rail a
rail, e.g. a handrail, fitted as a support or to prevent an
accident. guard ring Electronics a ring-shaped electrode used
to limit the extent of an electric field, esp. in a capacitor.
guard's van Brit. a coach or compartment occupied by a guard.
lower one's guard reduce vigilance against attack. off (or off
one's) guard unprepared for some surprise or difficulty. on (or
on one's) guard prepared for all contingencies; vigilant. raise
one's guard become vigilant against attack. ЬЬguarder n.
guardless adj. [ME f. OF garde, garder ult. f. WG, rel. to WARD
guardant adj. Heraldry depicted with the body sideways and the face
towards the viewer.
guarded adj. (of a remark etc.) cautious, avoiding commitment.
ЬЬguardedly adv. guardedness n.
n. a building used to accommodate a military guard or to detain
guardian n. 1 a defender, protector, or keeper. 2 a person having legal
custody of another person and his or her property when that
person is incapable of managing his or her own affairs. 3 the
superior of a Franciscan convent. Ьguardian angel a spirit
conceived as watching over a person or place. ЬЬguardianship n.
[ME f. AF gardein, OF garden f. Frank., rel. to WARD, WARDEN]
guardroom n. a room with the same purpose as a guardhouse.
guardsman n. (pl. -men) 1 a soldier belonging to a body of guards. 2 (in
the UK) a soldier of a regiment of Guards.
guava n. 1 a small tropical American tree, Psidium guajava, bearing
an edible pale yellow fruit with pink juicy flesh. 2 this
fruit. [Sp. guayaba prob. f. a S. Amer. name]
guayule n. 1 a silver-leaved shrub, Parthenium argentatum, native to
Mexico. 2 a rubber substitute made from the sap of this plant.
[Amer. Sp. f. Nahuatl cuauhuli]
gubbins n. Brit. 1 a set of equipment or paraphernalia. 2 a gadget. 3
something of little value. 4 colloq. a foolish person (often
with ref. to oneself). [orig. = fragments, f. obs. gobbon:
perh. rel. to GOBBET]
adj. esp. US of or relating to a governor. [L gubernator
n. 1 a small European freshwater fish, Gobio gobio, often used
as bait. 2 a credulous or easily fooled person. [ME f. OF
goujon f. L gobio -onis GOBY]
n. 1 any of various kinds of pivot working a wheel, bell, etc.
2 the tubular part of a hinge into which the pin fits to effect
the joint. 3 a socket at the stern of a boat, into which a
rudder is fitted. 4 a pin holding two blocks of stone etc.
together. Ьgudgeon-pin (in an internal-combustion engine) a pin
holding a piston-rod and a connecting-rod together. [ME f. OF
goujon dimin. of gouge GOUGE]
n. a deciduous shrub, Viburnum opulus, with round bunches of
creamy-white flowers. Also called snowball tree. [Du. geldersch
f. Gelderland a province in the Netherlands]
guenon n. any African monkey of the genus Cercopithecus, having a
characteristic long tail, e.g. the vervet. [F: orig. unkn.]
guerdon n. & v. poet. --n. a reward or recompense. --v.tr. give a
reward to. [ME f. OF guerdon f. med.L widerdonum f. WG widarlon
(as WITH, LOAN(1)), assim. to L donum gift]
Guernsey n. (pl. -eys) 1 a an animal of a breed of dairy cattle from
Guernsey in the Channel Islands. b this breed. 2 (guernsey) a
a thick (usu. blue) woollen sweater of a distinctive pattern. b
Austral. a football shirt. Ьget a guernsey Austral. colloq. 1
be selected for a football team. 2 gain recognition. guernsey
lily a kind of nerine orig. from S. Africa, with large pink
guerrilla n. (also guerilla) a member of a small independently acting
(usu. political) group taking part in irregular fighting, esp.
against larger regular forces. Ьguerrilla war (or warfare)
fighting by or with guerrillas. [Sp. guerrilla, dimin. of
guess v. & n. --v. 1 tr. (often absol.) estimate without calculation
or measurement, or on the basis of inadequate data. 2 tr.
(often foll. by that etc. + clause, or to + infin.) form a
hypothesis or opinion about; conjecture; think likely (cannot
guess how you did it; guess them to be Italian). 3 tr.
conjecture or estimate correctly by guessing (you have to guess
the weight). 4 intr. (foll. by at) make a conjecture about.
--n. an estimate or conjecture reached by guessing. Ьanybody's
(or anyone's) guess something very vague or difficult to
determine. I guess colloq. I think it likely; I suppose. keep
a person guessing colloq. withhold information. ЬЬguessable
adj. guesser n. [ME gesse, of uncert. orig.: cf. OSw. gissa,
MLG, MDu. gissen: f. the root of GET v.]
var. of GUEST-ROPE.
guesswork n. the process of or results got by guessing.
guest n. & v. --n. 1 a person invited to visit another's house or
have a meal etc. at the expense of the inviter. 2 a person
lodging at a hotel, boarding-house, etc. 3 a an outside
performer invited to take part with a regular body of
performers. b a person who takes part by invitation in a radio
or television programme (often attrib.: guest artist). 4
(attrib.) a serving or set aside for guests (guest-room;
guest-night). b acting as a guest (guest speaker). 5 an
organism living in close association with another. --v.intr. be
a guest on a radio or television show or in a theatrical
performance etc. Ьbe my guest colloq. make what use you wish
of the available facilities. guest-house a private house
offering paid accommodation. guest of honour the most important
guest at an occasion. ЬЬguestship n. [ME f. ON gestr f. Gmc]
n. (also guesstimate) colloq. an estimate based on a mixture of
guesswork and calculation. [GUESS + ESTIMATE]
n. (also guess-rope) 1 a second rope fastened to a boat in tow
to steady it. 2 a rope slung outside a ship to give a hold for
boats coming alongside. [17th c.: orig. uncert.]
guff n. sl. empty talk; nonsense. [19th c., orig. = 'puff': imit.]
guffaw n. & v. --n. a coarse or boisterous laugh. --v. 1 intr. utter
a guffaw. 2 tr. say with a guffaw. [orig. Sc.: imit.]
guidance n. 1 advice or information aimed at resolving a problem,
difficulty, etc. 2 the process of guiding or being guided.
guide n. & v. --n. 1 a person who leads or shows the way, or directs
the movements of a person or group. 2 a person who conducts
travellers on tours etc. 3 a professional mountain-climber in
charge of a group. 4 an adviser. 5 a directing principle or
standard (one's feelings are a bad guide). 6 a book with
essential information on a subject, esp. = GUIDEBOOK. 7 a thing
marking a position or guiding the eye. 8 a soldier, vehicle, or
ship whose position determines the movements of others. 9 Mech.
a a bar, rod, etc., directing the motion of something. b a
gauge etc. controlling a tool. 10 (Guide) Brit. a member of a
girls' organization similar to the Scouts. --v.tr. 1 a act as
guide to; lead or direct. b arrange the course of (events). 2
be the principle, motive, or ground of (an action, judgement,
etc.). 3 direct the affairs of (a State etc.). Ьguided missile
a missile directed to its target by remote control or by
equipment within itself. guide-dog a dog trained to guide a
blind person. guide-rope a rope guiding the movement of a
crane, airship, etc. Queen's (or King's) Guide a Guide (sense
10) who has reached the highest rank of proficiency. ЬЬguidable
adj. guider n. [ME f. OF guide (n.), guider (v.), earlier
guier ult. f. Gmc, rel. to WIT(2)]
guidebook n. a book of information about a place for visitors, tourists,
guideline n. a principle or criterion guiding or directing action.
guidepost n. = SIGNPOST.
Guider n. an adult leader of Guides (see GUIDE n. 10).
guideway n. a groove or track that guides movement.
guidon n. a pennant narrowing to a point or fork at the free end, esp.
one used as the standard of a regiment of dragoons. [F f. It.
guidone f. guida GUIDE]
guild n. (also gild) 1 an association of people for mutual aid or the
pursuit of a common goal. 2 a medieval association of craftsmen
or merchants. [ME prob. f. MLG, MDu. gilde f. Gmc: rel. to OE
gild payment, sacrifice]
guilder n. 1 the chief monetary unit of the Netherlands. 2 hist. a
gold coin of the Netherlands and Germany. [ME, alt. of Du.
gulden: see GULDEN]
guildhall n. 1 the meeting-place of a guild or corporation; a town hall.
2 (the Guildhall) the hall of the Corporation of the City of
London, used for ceremonial occasions.
guildsman n. (pl. -men; fem. guildswoman, pl. -women) a member of a guild.
guile n. treachery, deceit; cunning or sly behaviour. ЬЬguileful
adj. guilefully adv. guilefulness n. guileless adj.
guilelessly adv. guilelessness n. [ME f. OF, prob. f. Gmc]
guillemot n. any fast-flying sea bird of the genus Uria or Cepphus,
nesting on cliffs or islands. [F f. Guillaume William]
guilloche n. an architectural or metalwork ornament imitating braided
ribbons. [F guillochis (or guilloche the tool used)]
n. & v. --n. 1 a machine with a heavy knife-blade sliding
vertically in grooves, used for beheading. 2 a device for
cutting paper, metal, etc. 3 a surgical instrument for excising
the uvula etc. 4 Parl. a method of preventing delay in the
discussion of a legislative bill by fixing times at which
various parts of it must be voted on. --v.tr. 1 use a
guillotine on. 2 Parl. end discussion of (a bill) by applying a
guillotine. ЬЬguillotiner n. [F f. J.-I. Guillotin, Fr.
physician d. 1814, who recommended its use for executions in
guilt n. 1 the fact of having committed a specified or implied
offence. 2 a culpability. b the feeling of this. Ьguilt
complex Psychol. a mental obsession with the idea of having
done wrong. [OE gylt, of unkn. orig.]
guiltless adj. 1 (often foll. by of an offence) innocent. 2 (foll. by of)
not having knowledge or possession of. ЬЬguiltlessly adv.
guiltlessness n. [OE gyltleas (as GUILT, -LESS)]
guilty adj. (guiltier, guiltiest) 1 culpable of or responsible for a
wrong. 2 conscious of or affected by guilt (a guilty
conscience; a guilty look). 3 concerning guilt (a guilty
secret). 4 a (often foll. by of) having committed a (specified)
offence. b Law adjudged to have committed a specified offence,
esp. by a verdict in a trial. ЬЬguiltily adv. guiltiness n.
[OE gyltig (as GUILT, -Y(1))]
guimp var. of GIMP(1).
guinea n. 1 Brit. hist. the sum of 21 old shillings (њ1.05), used
esp. in determining professional fees. 2 hist. a former British
gold coin worth 21 shillings, first coined for the African
trade. Ьguinea-fowl any African fowl of the family Numididae,
esp. Numida meleagris, with slate-coloured white-spotted
plumage. guinea-pig 1 a domesticated S. American cavy, Cavia
porcellus, kept as a pet or for research in biology etc. 2 a
person or thing used as a subject for experiment. [Guinea in W.
guipure n. a heavy lace of linen pieces joined by embroidery. [F f.
guiper cover with silk etc. f. Gmc]
guise n. 1 an assumed appearance; a pretence (in the guise of; under
the guise of). 2 external appearance. 3 archaic style of
attire, garb. [ME f. OF ult. f. Gmc]
guitar n. a usu. six-stringed musical instrument with a fretted
finger-board, played by plucking with the fingers or a plectrum.
ЬЬguitarist n. [Sp. guitarra (partly through F guitare) f. Gk
kithara: see CITTERN, GITTERN]
guiver n. (also gyver) Austral. & NZ sl. 1 plausible talk. 2
affectation of speech or manner. [19th c.: orig. unkn.]
Gujarati n. & adj. --n. (pl. Gujaratis) 1 the language of Gujarat in
W. India. 2 a native of Gujarat. --adj. of or relating to
Gujarat or its language. [Hind.: see -I(2)]
gulch n. US a ravine, esp. one in which a torrent flows. [perh. dial.
gulch to swallow]
gulden n. = GUILDER. [Du. & G, = GOLDEN]
gules n. & adj. (usu. placed after noun) Heraldry red. [ME f. OF
goules red-dyed fur neck ornaments f. gole throat]
gulf n. & v. --n. 1 a stretch of sea consisting of a deep inlet
with a narrow mouth. 2 (the Gulf) the Persian Gulf. 3 a deep
hollow; a chasm or abyss. 4 a wide difference of feelings,
opinion, etc. --v.tr. engulf; swallow up. ЬGulf Stream an
oceanic warm current flowing from the Gulf of Mexico to
Newfoundland where it is deflected into the Atlantic Ocean. [ME
f. OF golfe f. It. golfo ult. f. Gk kolpos bosom, gulf]
gulfweed n. = SARGASSO.
gull(1) n. any of various long-winged web-footed sea birds of the
family Laridae, usu. having white plumage with a mantle varying
from pearly-grey to black, and a bright bill. ЬЬgullery n. (pl.
-ies). [ME ult. f. OCelt.]
gull(2) v.tr. (usu. in passive; foll. by into) dupe, fool. [perh. f.
obs. gull yellow f. ON gulr]
Gullah n. 1 a member of a Negro people living on the coast of S.
Carolina or the nearby sea islands. 2 the Creole language
spoken by them. [perh. a shortening of Angola, or f. a tribal
gullet n. 1 the food-passage extending from the mouth to the stomach;
the oesophagus. 2 the throat. [ME f. OF dimin. of go(u)le
throat f. L gula]
gullible adj. easily persuaded or deceived, credulous. ЬЬgullibility n.
gullibly adv. [GULL(2) + -IBLE]
gully n. & v. --n. (pl. -ies) 1 a water-worn ravine. 2 a deep
artificial channel; a gutter or drain. 3 Austral. & NZ a river
valley. 4 Cricket a the fielding position between point and
slips. b a fielder in this position. --v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1
form (channels) by water action. 2 make gullies in.
Ьgully-hole an opening in a street to a drain or sewer. [F
goulet bottle-neck (as GULLET)]
gulp v. & n. --v. 1 tr. (often foll. by down) swallow hastily,
greedily, or with effort. 2 intr. swallow gaspingly or with
difficulty; choke. 3 tr. (foll. by down, back) stifle, suppress
(esp. tears). --n. 1 an act of gulping (drained it at one
gulp). 2 an effort to swallow. 3 a large mouthful of a drink.
ЬЬgulper n. gulpingly adv. gulpy adj. [ME prob. f. MDu.
gum(1) n. & v. --n. 1 a a viscous secretion of some trees and shrubs
that hardens on drying but is soluble in water (cf. RESIN). b
an adhesive substance made from this. 2 US chewing gum. 3 =
GUMDROP. 4 = gum arabic. 5 = gum-tree. 6 a secretion
collecting in the corner of the eye. 7 US = GUMBOOT. --v.
(gummed, gumming) 1 tr. smear or cover with gum. 2 tr. (usu.
foll. by down, together, etc.) fasten with gum. 3 intr. exude
gum. Ьgum arabic a gum exuded by some kinds of acacia and used
as glue and in incense. gum benjamin benzoin. gum dragon
tragacanth. gum juniper sandarac. gum resin a vegetable
secretion of resin mixed with gum, e.g. gamboge. gum-tree a
tree exuding gum, esp. a eucalyptus. gum up 1 (of a mechanism
etc.) become clogged or obstructed with stickiness. 2 colloq.
interfere with the smooth running of (gum up the works). up a
gum-tree colloq. in great difficulties. [ME f. OF gomme ult.
f. L gummi, cummi f. Gk kommi f. Egypt. kemai]
gum(2) n. (usu. in pl.) the firm flesh around the roots of the teeth.
Ьgum-shield a pad protecting a boxer's teeth and gums. [OE goma
rel. to OHG guomo, ON gўmr roof or floor of the mouth]
gum(3) n. colloq. (in oaths) God (by gum!). [corrupt. of God]
gumbo n. (pl. -os) US 1 okra. 2 a soup thickened with okra pods. 3
(Gumbo) a patois of Blacks and Creoles spoken esp. in Louisiana.
[of Afr. orig.]
gumboil n. a small abscess on the gums.
gumboot n. a rubber boot; a wellington.
gumdrop n. a soft coloured sweet made with gelatin or gum arabic.
gumma n. (pl. gummas or gummata) Med. a small soft swelling
occurring in the connective tissue of the liver, brain, testes,
and heart, and characteristic of the late stages of syphilis.
ЬЬgummatous adj. [mod.L f. L gummi GUM(1)]
gummy(1) adj. (gummier, gummiest) 1 viscous, sticky. 2 abounding in or
exuding gum. ЬЬgumminess n. [ME f. GUM(1) + -Y(1)]
gummy(2) adj. & n. --adj. (gummier, gummiest) toothless. --n. (pl.
-ies) 1 Austral. a small shark, Mustelus antarcticus, having
rounded teeth with which it crushes hard-shelled prey. 2
Austral. & NZ a toothless sheep. ЬЬgummily adv. [GUM(2) +
gumption n. colloq. 1 resourcefulness, initiative; enterprising spirit.
2 common sense. [18th-c. Sc.: orig. unkn.]
gumshoe n. US 1 a galosh. 2 sl. a detective.
gun n. & v. --n. 1 any kind of weapon consisting of a metal tube
and often held in the hand with a grip at one end, from which
bullets or other missiles are propelled with great force, esp.
by a contained explosion. 2 any device imitative of this, e.g.
a starting pistol. 3 a device for discharging insecticide,
grease, electrons, etc., in the required direction (often in
comb.: grease-gun). 4 a member of a shooting-party. 5 US a
gunman. 6 the firing of a gun. 7 (in pl.) Naut. sl. a gunnery
officer. --v. (gunned, gunning) 1 tr. a (usu. foll. by down)
shoot (a person) with a gun. b shoot at with a gun. 2 tr.
colloq. accelerate (an engine or vehicle). 3 intr. go shooting.
4 intr. (foll. by for) seek out determinedly to attack or
rebuke. Ьgo great guns colloq. proceed forcefully or
vigorously or successfully. gun-carriage a wheeled support for
a gun. gun-cotton an explosive used for blasting, made by
steeping cotton in nitric and sulphuric acids. gun crew a team
manning a gun. gun dog a dog trained to follow sportsmen using
guns. gun-shy (esp. of a sporting dog) alarmed at the report of
a gun. gun-site a (usu. fortified) emplacement for a gun. jump
the gun colloq. start before a signal is given, or before an
agreed time. stick to one's guns colloq. maintain one's
position under attack. ЬЬgunless adj. gunned adj. [ME gunne,
gonne, perh. f. the Scand. name Gunnhildr]
gunboat n. a small vessel of shallow draught and with relatively heavy
guns. Ьgunboat diplomacy political negotiation supported by the
use or threat of military force.
gunfight n. US a fight with firearms. ЬЬgunfighter n.
gunfire n. 1 the firing of a gun or guns, esp. repeatedly. 2 the noise
gunge n. & v. Brit. colloq. --n. sticky or viscous matter, esp.
when messy or indeterminate. --v.tr. (usu. foll. by up) clog or
obstruct with gunge. ЬЬgungy adj. [20th c.: orig. uncert.: cf.
gung-ho adj. enthusiastic, eager. [Chin. gonghe work together, slogan
adopted by US Marines in 1942]
gunk n. sl. viscous or liquid material. [20th c.: orig. the name
of a detergent (propr.)]
gunlock n. a mechanism by which the charge of a gun is exploded.
gunman n. (pl. -men) a man armed with a gun, esp. in committing a
gun-metal n. 1 a dull bluish-grey colour. 2 an alloy of copper and tin
or zinc (formerly used for guns).
gunnel(1) n. any small eel-shaped marine fish of the family Pholidae,
esp. Pholis gunnellus. Also called BUTTERFISH. [17th c.: orig.
gunnel(2) var. of GUNWALE.
gunner n. 1 an artillery soldier (esp. as an official term for a
private). 2 Naut. a warrant-officer in charge of a battery,
magazine, etc. 3 a member of an aircraft crew who operates a
gun. 4 a person who hunts game with a gun.
gunnera n. any plant of the genus Gunnera from S. America and New
Zealand, having large leaves and often grown for ornament. [J.
E. Gunnerus, Norw. botanist d. 1773]
gunnery n. 1 the construction and management of large guns. 2 the
firing of guns.
gunny n. (pl. -ies) 1 coarse sacking, usu. of jute fibre. 2 a sack
made of this. [Hindi & Marathi goni f. Skr. goni sack]
gunplay n. the use of guns.
gunpoint n. the point of a gun. Ьat gunpoint threatened with a gun or an
gunpowder n. 1 an explosive made of saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal. 2
a fine green tea of granular appearance.
gunpower n. the strength or quantity of available guns.
gunroom n. Brit. 1 a room in a house for storing sporting-guns. 2
quarters for junior officers (orig. for gunners) in a warship.
gunrunner n. a person engaged in the illegal sale or importing of
firearms. ЬЬgunrunning n.
gunship n. a heavily-armed helicopter or other aircraft.
gunshot n. 1 a shot fired from a gun. 2 the range of a gun (within
n. esp. US sl. a gunman. ЬЬgunslinging n.
gunsmith n. a person who makes, sells, and repairs small firearms.
gunstock n. the wooden mounting of the barrel of a gun.
n. Surveying 1 a measuring chain of 66 ft. 2 this length as a
unit. [E. Gunter, Engl. mathematician d. 1626]
gunwale n. (also gunnel) the upper edge of the side of a boat or ship.
[GUN + WALE (because formerly used to support guns)]
gunyah n. Austral. an Aboriginal bush hut. [Aboriginal]
guppy n. (pl. -ies) a freshwater fish, Poecilia reticulata, of the
W. Indies and S. America, frequently kept in aquariums, and
giving birth to live young. [R. J. L. Guppy, 19th-c. Trinidad
clergyman who sent the first specimen to the British Museum]
gurdwara n. a Sikh temple. [Punjabi gurduara f. Skr. guru teacher +
gurgle v. & n. --v. 1 intr. make a bubbling sound as of water from a
bottle. 2 tr. utter with such a sound. --n. a gurgling sound.
ЬЬgurgler n. [imit., or f. Du. gorgelen, G gurgeln, or med.L
gurgulare f. L gurgulio gullet]
Gurkha n. 1 a member of the dominant Hindu race in Nepal. 2 a
Nepalese soldier serving in the British army. [native name, f.
Skr. gaus cow + raksh protect]
gurnard n. (also gurnet) any marine fish of the family Triglidae,
having a large spiny head with mailed sides, and three
finger-like pectoral rays used for walking on the sea bed etc.
[ME f. OF gornart f. grondir to grunt f. L grunnire]
guru n. 1 a Hindu spiritual teacher or head of a religious sect. 2
a an influential teacher. b a revered mentor. [Hindi guru
teacher f. Skr. gurЈs grave, dignified]
gush v. & n. --v. 1 tr. & intr. emit or flow in a sudden and
copious stream. 2 intr. speak or behave with effusiveness or
sentimental affectation. --n. 1 a sudden or copious stream. 2
an effusive or sentimental manner. ЬЬgushing adj. gushingly
adv. [ME gosshe, gusche, prob. imit.]
gusher n. 1 an oil well from which oil flows without being pumped. 2
an effusive person.
gushy adj. (gushier, gushiest) excessively effusive or sentimental.
ЬЬgushily adv. gushiness n.
gusset n. 1 a piece let into a garment etc. to strengthen or enlarge a
part. 2 a bracket strengthening an angle of a structure.
ЬЬgusseted adj. [ME f. OF gousset flexible piece filling up a
joint in armour f. gousse pod, shell]
gust n. & v. --n. 1 a sudden strong rush of wind. 2 a burst of
rain, fire, smoke, or sound. 3 a passionate or emotional
outburst. --v.intr. blow in gusts. [ON gustr, rel. to gjўsa to
gustation n. the act or capacity of tasting. ЬЬgustative adj. gustatory
adj. [F gustation or L gustatio f. gustare f. gustus taste]
gusto n. (pl. -oes) 1 zest; enjoyment or vigour in doing something.
2 (foll. by for) archaic relish or liking. 3 archaic a style of
artistic execution. [It. f. L gustus taste]
gusty adj. (gustier, gustiest) 1 characterized by or blowing in strong
winds. 2 characterized by gusto. ЬЬgustily adv. gustiness n.
gut n. & v. --n. 1 the lower alimentary canal or a part of this;
the intestine. 2 (in pl.) the bowel or entrails, esp. of
animals. 3 (in pl.) colloq. personal courage and determination;
vigorous application and perseverance. 4 (in pl.) colloq. the
belly as the source of appetite. 5 (in pl.) a the contents of
anything, esp. representing substantiality. b the essence of a
thing, e.g. of an issue or problem. 6 a material for violin or
racket strings or surgical use made from the intestines of
animals. b material for fishing-lines made from the silk-glands
of silkworms. 7 a a narrow water-passage; a sound, straits. b
a defile or narrow passage. 8 (attrib.) a instinctive (a gut
reaction). b fundamental (a gut issue). --v.tr. (gutted,
gutting) 1 remove or destroy (esp. by fire) the internal
fittings of (a house etc.). 2 take out the guts of (a fish). 3
extract the essence of (a book etc.). Ьgut-rot colloq. 1 =
rot-gut. 2 a stomach upset. hate a person's guts colloq.
dislike a person intensely. sweat (or work) one's guts out
colloq. work extremely hard. [OE guttas (pl.), prob. rel. to
gutless adj. colloq. lacking courage or determination; feeble.
ЬЬgutlessly adv. gutlessness n.
n. a tough plastic substance obtained from the latex of various
Malaysian trees. [Malay getah gum + percha name of a tree]
guttate adj. Biol. having droplike markings. [L guttatus speckled f.
gutter n. & v. --n. 1 a shallow trough below the eaves of a house, or
a channel at the side of a street, to carry off rainwater. 2
(prec. by the) a poor or degraded background or environment. 3
an open conduit along which liquid flows out. 4 a groove. 5 a
track made by the flow of water. --v. 1 intr. flow in streams.
2 tr. furrow, channel. Ьgutter press sensational journalism
concerned esp. with the private lives of public figures. [ME f.
AF gotere, OF gotiere ult. f. L gutta drop]
guttering n. 1 a the gutters of a building etc. b a section or length of
a gutter. 2 material for gutters.
n. a street urchin.
guttural adj. & n. --adj. 1 throaty, harsh-sounding. 2 a Phonet. (of a
consonant) produced in the throat or by the back of the tongue
and palate. b (of a sound) coming from the throat. c of the
throat. --n. Phonet. a guttural consonant (e.g. k, g).
ЬЬgutturally adv. [F guttural or med.L gutturalis f. L guttur
guv n. Brit. sl. = GOVERNOR 7. [abbr.]
guy(1) n. & v. --n. 1 colloq. a man; a fellow. 2 (usu. in pl.) US a
person of either sex. 3 Brit. an effigy of Guy Fawkes in ragged
clothing, burnt on a bonfire on 5 Nov. 4 Brit. a grotesquely
dressed person. --v.tr. 1 ridicule. 2 exhibit in effigy.
[Guy Fawkes, conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up
Parliament in 1605]
guy(2) n. & v. --n. a rope or chain to secure a tent or steady a
crane-load etc. --v.tr. secure with a guy or guys. [prob. of
LG orig.: cf. LG & Du. gei brail etc.]
guzzle v.tr. & intr. eat, drink, or consume excessively or greedily.
ЬЬguzzler n. [perh. f. OF gosiller chatter, vomit f. gosier
gybe v. & n. (US jibe) --v. 1 intr. (of a fore-and-aft sail or
boom) swing across in wearing or running before the wind. 2 tr.
cause (a sail) to do this. 3 intr. (of a ship or its crew)
change course so that this happens. --n. a change of course
causing gybing. [obs. Du. gijben]
gym n. colloq. 1 a gymnasium. 2 gymnastics. [abbr.]
gymkhana n. 1 a meeting for competition or display in sport, esp.
horse-riding. 2 a public place with facilities for athletics.
[Hind. gendkhana ball-house, racket-court, assim. to GYMNASIUM]
gymnasium n. (pl. gymnasiums or gymnasia) 1 a room or building equipped
for gymnastics. 2 a school in Germany or Scandinavia that
prepares pupils for university entrance. ЬЬgymnasial adj. [L f.
Gk gumnasion f. gumnazo exercise f. gumnos naked]
gymnast n. an expert in gymnastics. [F gymnaste or Gk gumnastes
athlete-trainer f. gumnazo: see GYMNASIUM]
gymnastic adj. of or involving gymnastics. ЬЬgymnastically adv. [L
gymnasticus f. Gk gumnastikos (as GYMNASIUM)]
n.pl. (also treated as sing.) 1 exercises developing or
displaying physical agility and coordination, usu. in
competition. 2 other forms of physical or mental agility.
gymno- comb. form Biol. bare, naked. [Gk gumnos naked]
n. a member of an ancient Hindu sect wearing little clothing
and devoted to contemplation. ЬЬgymnosophy n. [ME f. F
gymnosophiste f. L gymnosophistae (pl.) f. Gk gumnosophistai:
see GYMNO-, SOPHIST]
n. any of various plants having seeds unprotected by an ovary,
including conifers, cycads, and ginkgos (opp. ANGIOSPERM).
gymp var. of GIMP(1).
gymslip n. a sleeveless tunic, usu. belted, worn by schoolgirls.
gynaeceum var. of GYNOECIUM.
gynaeco- comb. form (US gyneco-) woman, women; female. [Gk gune gunaikos
n. (US gynecology) the science of the physiological functions
and diseases of women and girls, esp. those affecting the
reproductive system. ЬЬgynaecological adj. gynaecologically
adv. gynaecologist n. gynecologic adj. US.
n. (US gynecomastia) Med. enlargement of a man's breasts, usu.
due to hormone imbalance or hormone therapy.
n. Biol. an individual, esp. an insect, having male and female
characteristics. ЬЬgynandromorphic adj. gynandromorphism n.
[formed as GYNANDROUS + Gk morphe form]
adj. Bot. with stamens and pistil united in one column as in
orchids. [Gk gunandros of doubtful sex, f. gune woman + aner
gyneco- comb. form US var. of GYNAECO-.
gynoecium n. (also gynaecium) (pl. -cia) Bot. the carpels of a flower
taken collectively. [mod.L f. Gk gunaikeion women's apartments
(as GYNAECO-, Gk oikos house)]
-gynous comb. form Bot. forming adjectives meaning 'having specified
female organs or pistils' (monogynous). [Gk -gunos f. gune
gyp(1) n. Brit. colloq. 1 pain or severe discomfort. 2 a scolding
(gave them gyp). [19th c.: perh. f. gee-up (see GEE(2))]
gyp(2) n. Brit. a college servant at Cambridge and Durham. [perh. f.
obs. gippo scullion, orig. a man's short tunic, f. obs. F
gyp(3) v. & n. sl. --v.tr. (gypped, gypping) cheat, swindle. --n. an
act of cheating; a swindle. [19th c.: perh. f. GYP(2)]
var. of GIPPY TUMMY.
n. any plant of the genus Gypsophila, with a profusion of small
usu. white composite flowers. [mod.L f. Gk gupsos chalk +
gypsum n. a hydrated form of calcium sulphate occurring naturally and
used to make plaster of Paris and in the building industry.
ЬЬgypseous adj. gypsiferous adj. [L f. Gk gupsos]
Gypsy n. (also Gipsy) (pl. -ies) 1 a member of a nomadic people of
Europe and N. America, of Hindu origin with dark skin and hair,
and speaking a language related to Hindi. 2 (gypsy) a person
resembling or living like a Gypsy. Ьgypsy moth a kind of
tussock moth, Lymantria dispar, of which the larvae are very
destructive to foliage. ЬЬGypsydom n. Gypsyfied adj.
Gypsyhood n. Gypsyish adj. [earlier gipcyan, gipsen f.
EGYPTIAN, from the supposed origin of Gypsies when they appeared
in England in the early 16th c.]
gyrate v. & adj. --v.intr. go in a circle or spiral; revolve, whirl.
--adj. Bot. arranged in rings or convolutions. ЬЬgyration n.
gyratorn. gyratory adj. [L gyrare gyrat- revolve f. gyrus ring
f. Gk guros]
gyre v. & n. esp. poet. --v.intr. whirl or gyrate. --n. a
gyration. [L gyrus ring f. Gk guros]
gyrfalcon n. (also gerfalcon) a large falcon, Falco rusticolus, of the
northern hemisphere. [ME f. OF gerfaucon f. Frank. gerfalco f.
ON geirf lki: see FALCON]
gyro n. (pl. -os) colloq. 1 = GYROSCOPE. 2 = GYROCOMPASS. [abbr.]
gyro- comb. form rotation. [Gk guros ring]
n. a non-magnetic compass giving true north and bearings from it
by means of a gyroscope.
gyrograph n. an instrument for recording revolutions.
adj. 1 Physics of the magnetic and mechanical properties of a
rotating charged particle. 2 (of a compass) combining a
gyroscope and a normal magnetic compass.
gyropilot n. a gyrocompass used for automatic steering.
gyroplane n. a form of aircraft deriving its lift mainly from freely
rotating overhead vanes.
gyroscope n. a rotating wheel whose axis is free to turn but maintains a
fixed direction unless perturbed, esp. used for stabilization or
with the compass in an aircraft, ship, etc. ЬЬgyroscopic adj.
gyroscopically adv. [F (as GYRO-, SCOPE(2))]
n. a gyroscopic device for maintaining the equilibrium of a
ship, aircraft, platform, etc.
gyrus n. (pl. gyri) a fold or convolution, esp. of the brain. [L f.
Gk guros ring]
gyttja n. Geol. a lake deposit of a usu. black organic sediment.
[Sw., = mud, ooze]